Faces of Myanmar - Kayan Lahwi Women

Discussion in 'Street Photography' started by Sunny Sra, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Sunny Sra

    Sunny Sra Well-Known Member

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    Women of the Kayan tribes identify themselves by their forms of dress. 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 5 years old. Over the years, the coil is replaced by a longer one and more turns are added. The weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. The neck itself is not lengthened; the appearance of a stretched neck is created by the deformation of the clavicle. Many ideas regarding why the coils are worn have been suggested. Speculation by anthropologists, who have hypothesized, that the rings protected women from becoming slaves; making them less attractive to other tribes. It has also been theorised that the coils originate from the desire to look more attractive by exaggerating sexual dimorphism, as women have more slender necks than men. It has also been suggested that the coils give the women resemblance to a dragon, an important figure in Kayan folklore. The coils might be meant to protect from tiger bites, perhaps literally, but probably symbolically.

    Kayan women, when asked, acknowledge these ideas and often say that their purpose for wearing the rings is cultural identity (one associated with beauty).

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  2. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Fantastic and very interesting history. It’s always nice when threads are educational.

    All of these look great, I will pick some favorites out a little later.
     

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