Sunday, September 16, 2012

Padaung Tribe

The Padaung, commonly known as the long-necked women, are refugees from Burma famous for their giraffe-like appearance, made by wearing brass rings coiled around their necks. Although it looks like the coils thrust their necks upward, the elongation is actually caused by the weight of the rings crushing their collarbones down. The traditional wardrobe for Padaung women is a red, sarong-like dress with a blue or magenta jacket and towel-like head covering. Most distinctive are the dozens of rattan rings that circle their waists. 

The villages depend on tourism (the people are accustomed to posing for photos), but increasingly the so-called "long-neck women" are rebelling against exploitation by removing their neck rings. The women complain they earn as little as US$50 a month from operators who profit handsomely from bus tours to the villages. The Padaung suffer additional discrimination from the Thai government, which refuses to recognize them as a Thai hill tribe, denying them the rights of Thai citizens.

Brass leg rings post can be found here

Photos via PeterOle on Flickr
Info from here and here

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