ChiragKhatri
ChiragKhatri

Girl from the Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe Village, Thailand.

Girl from the Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe Village, Thailand.

There are various Karen Long Neck villages located between Chiang Mai and the Golden Tr...
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Girl from the Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe Village, Thailand.

There are various Karen Long Neck villages located between Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle - that overlaps the mountains of three countries of Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

The Karen are a tribal group who have historically lived in the hills on the Myanmar side of the Thai border. Best recognized for their elongated necks, the Karen women wear heavy brass rings around their necks, forearms, and shins. There are still around 40,000 Karen members today, but thousands have had to flee Burma over the decades due to political unrest. Fleeing to Thailand was a very safe choice for many, but the ones that came are largely illegal immigrants and did not have options for gaining Thai citizenship. But now they are eligible for Thailand citizenship acording to the information given by our tour guide.

On one hand it is beautiful they have been able to keep their traditions alive and on the other it is a struggle to balance the new world with the old. While it may seem that the Karen women have unusually long necks, their traditional brass rings actually smash their shoulders and rib cages down just making their necks seem longer. Each time a woman adds a ring to her neck she is fitted with a new neck piece that coils around and around.

The biggest reason why the Karen women put themselves though the neck lengthening routine is simply tradition. While there are some of the women that need to stick with the tradition to make money since they are refugees, there are some of the woman that do it just to hold onto their heritage. In the early days of the Long Necks, the practice of the brass rings was started not just for beauty, but also to protect against tigers attacking their tribe frequently.

Exif: 58mm @ F-1.4, 1-25 Sec, ISO 100
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1 Comment | Report
ArberElezi
 
ArberElezi June 23, 2017
Cool
ChiragKhatri
ChiragKhatri February 01, 2018
Thank you!
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