Karen long neck tribe
We took a trip through the mountains to the lovely border city of Mae Hong Son. Nestled in the mountains close to the Burmese border this city is built around a small but scenic lake. One of the interests of this city is the many hill tribes that live in the surrounding mountains as well as caves like the one we visited and numerous waterfalls. So, renting our second moped, we took off from Mae Hong Son to find the village of the Nai Soi (Karen Long Neck) tribe. The women of this tribe use brass rings to push down on the collar bone throughout their life and give the impression of an elongated neck (the collar bone and shoulders bend to such an angle as to appear part of the neck). In the folklore of the tribe, this practice began in the hills of Burma to make it more difficult for tigers to kill the women by biting their neck (the men had weapons and therefore didn’t need this protection). There are other theories but the most probable is that the practice has continued because a longer neck is considered to be a sign of great beauty.