Kayan People – Visiting the Village

Kayan People – Visiting the Village

The Kayan are a sub-group of Red Karen, Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Myanmar.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia.

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The Kayan consists of the following groups: Kayan Lahwi, Kayan Ka Khaung, Kayan Lahta, Kayan Ka Ngan. Kayan Gebar, Kayan Kakhi and, sometimes, Bwe people (Kayaw). They are distinct from, and not to be confused with, the Kayan people of Borneo.

The Kayan residents in Mae Hong Son Province in Northern Thailand refer to themselves as Kayan and object to being called Padaung. Padaung (Yan Pa Doung) is a Shan term for the Kayan Lahwi (the group in which women wear the brass neck rings).

Women of the Kayan Lahwi tribe are well known for wearing neck rings, brass coils that are placed around the neck, appearing to lengthen it.

Girls first start to wear rings when they are around five years old. Over the years, the coil is replaced by a longer one and more turns are added.

Rings are worn not only around the neck, but also on the arms and legs.

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