The Padaung Longnecks

The Karen tribe, which is unofficially called the Long Neck tribe, came to Thailand from Burma, when escaping war and violence in their country.

They are world famous for their women, who wear golden rings around their necks. From the time when they are 5 to their 21st birthday, each year one ring is added to their collection. At the end, their necks get so long that these women are often called “dragon ladies”, or just “long necks”. According to Karen people, the longer the neck the more beautiful the woman who wears them is.

The first golden ring a girl gets when she is 5 years old and then one ring is added until she’s 21. The women take them off only once a year for 3-4 hours. Their necks could break if the rings weren’t worn for longer than that. Taking off the hoops is a special ceremony and only women from the tribe can attend it.