long neck padaung tribes mae hong son thailand

Padaung Tribes (Long Neck)

The Padaung tribes are said to have originated from the Southern Mongoloids, but culturally, they are a group of Karen living on the Plateaus above the Salween River in the Kayah state of Burma which is close to the Thai border. The Padaung tribes has a population of thirty thousand.

long neck padaung tribes mae hong son thailand

The Padaung are peaceful, hardworking and their lifestyle can be compared to that of the Karen in Thailand. They grow rice on steps and circulative rice fields. They also cultivate cotton, tobacco, vegetables, and fruits.

Their houses are made of wood like teak and bamboo with elephant grass used for the roof. The houses are at a higher elevation and ladders are widely used. The Padaung tribes house has enough space to accommodate essentials and their pets are sheltered under their houses or in areas surrounding the house. Most of the Padaungs are Catholics, while the rest are Buddhists while they collectively believe in Ghosts and soul.

long neck padaung tribes mae hong son thailand

The Padaung women have a tradition of wearing winding brass rings around the neck and this is initiated anywhere between the age of five and nine. In former times, it was said that only pure Padaung tribes women who were born only on Wednesdays and on full moon days had to wear the ring.

Now, all Padaung women wear rings. The rings were gold but now are made of brass. They are also solid, 1/3 inches in diameter. Solid brass has been used since hollow brass could not be made into beautiful rings. The Padaung tribes women need to skillfully bend the brass in order to wear them. This is done by dipping the rings into lemonade to make it soft and then it is worn like a coil spring.

long neck padaung tribes mae hong son thailand

It is said that women wear these rings to show their beauty, class, status, and position to protect the marriage over the tribe. Tribes from different regions have a different way of covering themselves in order to avoid attention from people outside their tribes.

There are two ancient stories reasoning the rings, one of them describes that the ghost and the soul felt dissatisfied about the Padaung group and sent a tiger to bite them all. Worried about losing women, the ancestors asked the women to wear rings that protected them from the tiger.

long neck padaung tribes mae hong son thailand

The second story elaborates that the Padaung parents were a dragon and a swan and this gave birth to the need to wear the rings in order to have a beautiful long neck in dignified and handsome movement, and also it is suitable for them to be the heirs of a dragon and a swan.

The Padaung tribes in Mae Hong Son, Thailand, have evacuated from the war. They have settled in their village along the Thai-Burma border. To attract tourists they still maintain the unique symbols of traditions and cultures. Tourism is one of their incomes.

2 thoughts on “Padaung Tribes (Long Neck)”

  1. Hi guys! Thank you for the unforgettable and delightful journey! Our family liked everything very much! You are the best! I would like to add a few words of myself.

    Karen is the old days Burman. The Burman, is dominate of men, and a widow is living in monastery and make food to the monk and ask Buddha about her reborn as a man. Opposite is an old Karen widow is the centre of the village, surrounded by her daughters and daughters’ daughters. In Bronze Age, at that time where the male dominated Burman arrive the queen (a female king) and all the gold decorate princesses been killed, except a single young princess, who get away to the hill and been the first ancestress to all the Long Neck Karen. In the female dominated society a man’s position based on his sisters’ status and his personal competence. Especially if he saves a child from one bad illness ghost, his positions grow. Of that cause Karen have low infant mortality rate and relatively high duration of life. When the mother expects the children’s survive, she was more attached to her children, and the widespread love for children been transferred to unfamiliar children and harmless tourists. When princesses use long neck ornament, the cause is the authoritative posture. If you were preventing as bow the neck to for anybody, your self-respect was forced to grow.

    The several thousand-year-old war between Burman and Karen been restarted 1948, so quickly after independence as possible, and it continues today without a chance of peace. Burma say as Karen have 8,500 guerillas against about 500,000 soldiers, but today modern arms had forced the army to a retreat.

    See you next time! Cheers!

    1. Thanks, Dimitrius! We already miss you! We will wait for you again! The children in the village are very happy with the toys you gave them. You have a very kind heart! See you!

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