In a small village, deep in the Thai jungle, a woman sits under a bamboo roof spinning yarn by hand. Her neck is adorned with shiny brass rings that almost makes her look abnormal in the most fascinating manner. It’s hard not to stare.

She’s part of a Burmese refugee group who live in the borderland between Burma and Thailand. Here, the women wear brass coils— around their necks as a symbol of wealth, position and beauty.

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Burma

The people are called Padaung, which means ‘long neck’, but if you ask them, they prefer to be called Kayan.

Burma

They have lived on the border between Thailand and Burma since 1995, with no permission to leave.

Burma

The Kayan tribe represent 7% of the Burmese population of 50 million.

Burma

In average, the neck rings weigh 5 kilo. Some weigh up to 10 kilo.

Burma

Kayan tribe women says that their purpose for wearing the neck rings is cultural identity. One associated with beauty, wealth and status.

Burma

Another Burmese tribe is the Long Ears. They believe the ears are one of the most sacred parts of the body, and therefore they wear large earrings.

Burma

This tradition is for married women only.

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Miriam

Travel blogger at Adventurous Miriam
I’m Miriam Risager, and this site has been my scrap-book, playground and home since 2013. I launched this blog as a way to share my journey, as well as share the hows, whys and wheres for other travelers.