Kayan Neck Ring Culture
The Kayan Women of Northern Thailand are stunning & have a very interesting aspect of their culture.
Say hello to brass rings! Worn around their legs & necks, the Kayan women are known for this heavy piece of jewellery as a huge part of their culture.
Children are first given a set of rings at age 5. At that point, the rings weigh about 4 pounds per set. More rings are slowly added over time, usually reaching 25.
Legend says that the neck ring culture within the Kayan Women started as a means of protecting the women from tiger attacks and to protect them from men of rival tribes-by using the brass neck rings to possibly lessen the beauty of the women.
Eventually, Kayan women started wearing the gold rings as accessories, referring less to the legend behind it.
The first thing noticed when a Kayan woman is spotted is what seems to be an elongated neck! However, this is just an illusion and their necks do not increase in length. Actually, the weight of the rings press down, lowering the clavicle, this compresses the rib cage, forcing the shoulders to fall. Giving the illusion of a longer neck over time.
The gold brass rings are often warn permanently and take just as long to take off as it is to install. By 2006, some of the younger women started to remove their rings for various reasons, including rebellion and exposure. The government also discouraged neck rings stating that it looks less modern in a developed world!
Soon, this will probably be a thing of the past although the neck ring culture is still going strong among some of the older generations of the Kayan women.
Would you try it? Let us know!