Long neck women, myanmar, burma, tribe, culture, gold rings, portrait, southeast asia, photo

Portrait of a Long Neck Woman

Myanmar

A woman of the Kayan tribe in Myanmar.  These women begin wearing the rings at age 5.  As they get older more rings are added to appear to lengthen the neck.  The rings actually depress the collar bone and rib cage rather than elongating the neck.  It is thought that the tradition started as a means to avoid slavery since they appeared less attractive this way. Her teeth have been damaged by years of chewing betel nut. I had many questions to ask her, but her tribal language is quite distinct and translation was almost impossible.
Photo © copyright by Michael Anderson.

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