The Kayan people of Burma (Myanmar), also known as the Padaung, are refugees who now reside in Thailand. They are proud of their unique cultural heritage, but desire to one day return to their home and fields in the Kayan and Shan states of Burma.
While historically they are known as great agriculturalists, they are most known for unique dress of the women. While the men dress in normal pants and short coats, the women wear elaborate brass rings around their necks and on their legs. Around their neck the brass rods grow from 20 to 25 thick, depending upon the woman’s age. They do not so much stretch the neck as they suppress growth of the clavicle, giving the appearance of elongating the neck. It is considered a mark of beauty.
There are a couple of theories as to how the wearing of brass rings on the neck originated…
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