This week’s photo: Karen Padaung girl, Thailand


This young woman, who is carrying her baby, is of the Karen Padaung tribe. I saw her on a visit to her village  in Chiang Mai province where the women of the ‘Long Necks’, as they are commonly referred to, adorn themselves with rings around their necks.

Girls start wearing these brass rings as early as five and never take them off. The rings are seen as a symbol of beauty and status and as the girls grow older, more rings are added.

There is a belief that as the years go by, the rings end up elongating and supporting the neck muscles to the extent that it may be fatal if a woman ever removes them. This is an interesting theory but I haven’t found any research to back it up.

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