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  • December 2009 (39)
  • Experience The Kareni Long-Necked Women

    Fri, Dec 11, 2009


    The ethnic minor groups of Kareni people that are placed in Burma are commonly known as the Kayan group of people. The name Kayan was been used at a very first time was in Khin Maung Nyunt, the white Karen which commonly known as The Kayans. In the year 1967 they belonged to the district of Pinlog in Burma. During the period of the Hardy Padaungs that was in the year 1967, the author said that the Kayan was more preferable to the people than Padaung. The Kayan people live their life the region of Mae Hong Son which was located in the northern region of Thailand. These people referred themselves more oftenly as Kayan also they felt really offended by the constant utilization of the designation “Padaung” or the common reference as “Long-neck Karen hill tribe”. Yan Pa Doung or Padaung is a shan expression which is mostly utilized to refer the Kayan Lahwi group. The Kayan Lahwi is the group of women who covers their bare neck with the brass coil.

    karenni people

    The various groups present in the world that are an integral part of Kayan are Kayan Lahwi as well as Gekho. Gekho are commonly known as Kayan Ka Khaung. The various other groups are the Kayan Gebar, the Kayaw and also the Kayan Kakhi.

    The in later period of the year 1980 as well in the earlier period of 1990, the Kayan’s were going through a continuous conflict with the military rule of Burma. Later many of the Kayan tribal group had decided getting a refuge in the nearby areas of Thailand. This was how the Kayan first came to Thailand. There in Thailand they lived with a doubtful officially permitted position in the boundary region, in the various villages. Here they became a centre of attraction for the various tourists coming to Thailand. The numerous tourists that were that were visiting Thailand were quite excited to see the meticulous body alteration that were did by the women of Kayan with their neck with the help of the brass coil arrangement.

    As stated by U Aung Roe the number of the Kayan people living in the Shan State was somewhere around 40,000 which the population that resided in Kayah state was near by 20,000. The Shan state was located in the region of the Pekon province where as Kayah stated was been positioned near the areas of Loikow as well as Demawso. As counted in the year 2004 the approximate number of the Kayan population was 130,000. In the Mae Hong Son region you will come across 600 Kayan people, who have been residing in to three different villages. These villages are open to the tourist’s visits. You can also experience the Kayan’s living in the refugee camp of Ban Mai Nai Soi.


    As considered in the tradition of the Kayan it is believed that the Demawso area of the Karenni region was been inhabitated by the Kayan’s for the first time in the year 739 BC. Even today the Kayan group settlements are found in the regions of Karenni and also surrounding the states of Loikow as well as Demawso. These areas are located in the Shan state’s southern region. The Kayan’s have also settled down in the township of Karen’s Than Daung and alsoMandalay’s Pyinmana.

    In Thailand around three different villages that are inhabitated by the Kayan’s are found in the province of Mae Hong Son. The largest village among the three is Huay Pu Keny that was been established on the banks of the river Pai. The area is located very near to the border in between Burma and Thailand. The commercial village of Seau Tao was been opened for the first time in the year 1995. In September 2008 many of the Nai Soi Kayan Tayar inhabitants have shifted to the refugee camp that was located in Karenni. Few of the Kayan families are still living their life in NAi Soi Kayan Tayar. The majority of the Kayan natives in live in the province of Mae Hong Son are previously from different nine rural community that were located in the state of Karenni. The greater part of them belongs to Rwan Khu as well as the Daw Kee village. The populaces of Huay Pu Keng are primarily from the village of Lay Mile.


    Women of that belong to a variety of Kayan tribes recognize themselves by their diverse appearance of costume. The Kayan Lahwi ethnic groups are the most well-known as they dress in knick-knacks identified as neck rings, brass coils that are located just about the neck. These coils are first functional with the younger girls while they are just about five years old.

    Every coil is restored with other long coils as the burden of the brass thrusts on the collar bone along and squeezes the rib cage. Opposing to accepted faith, the neck is not really expanded; the delusion of a lingering neck is fashioned by the bend of the clavicle. Countless thoughts on the topic of regarding the wearing of the coils have been recommended, often shaped by tripping to the anthropologists, who have theorized that the rings secluded women from flattering slaves by making them less striking to other ethnic groups.

    long neck karen tribe

    Contrastingly it has been hypothesized that the coils was invented from the wish to look extra striking by overstressing the sexual dimorphism, as woman have more slim necks than man. It was also been recommended that the coils provide the women semblance to a dragon, a significant form in Kayan tradition. The coils may be destined to defend from tiger nibble, maybe factually, but almost certainly emblematically.

    How to reach

    There are many airports that would drop you very close to Kayan in Burma are as follows:

    • Rangoon/mingalad Airport located at a distance of 42 km
    • Yangon Airport located at a distance of 46 km
    • Bago/pegu Airport located at a distance of 46 km
    • Hmawby Airport located at a distance of 51 km
    • Hpa An Airport
    When to visit

    The best time of the year to visit Kayan in Burma is in between the months of November up to February.

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