Karen Long Neck and 5 different Hilltribes  
   
   
   
     
 

Visit Lahu , Hmong , PalongKaren , Karen Long Neck villages. 

 
 

Karen Long Neck or Padaung are a sub-group of Karen (Bwe Group) living in Kayah state of eastern Burma on the Thailand border. They number less than 40,000 people in total. The Padaung call themselves “Lae Kur” or “Kayan”. They have their own language which belongs to the Kenmic group in the Tibeto-Burman language family. The Karen themseves are not one homogeneous group but rather a loose confederation of heterogeneous and closely related tribes. Among the smallest of the Karen tribes in Thailand are the Karen Padaung. The Padaung escaped from the Kaya State in Burma to Thailand in the mid to late 1900’s and are actually refugees of a political turmoil. They belong to the Karenni sub-group of the Karen People, which are still fighting for their independence in Burma. The Karen-Padaung occupied central Burma before the Burmese arrived from the North and they, together with the ancient Mon, farmed the Irrawaddy and Salween Valleys and built civilizations based on their unique cultures. The Padaung women famously wear brass rings around their necks. This distorts the growth of their collarbones and make them look as if they have long necks – which they don’t. This row of brass rings do not actually stretch their necks but in fact squash the vertebrae and collar bones. A woman generally has about twenty or more rings around her neck. This neck ring adornment is started when the girls are 5 or 6 years old.  The rings on the arms and the legs are not quite as prominent as those on the neck simply because the neck rings are so pronounced. However, these rings are just as important. The rings on the arms are worn on the forearm from the wrist to the elbow.  Those on the legs are worn from the ankles to the knees, and cloth coverings are kept over most of these rings, from the shins down to the ankles.  Most of Padaung are animists, but about 10 percent are Buddhists. Now, the number of Christians is increasing because of the Roman Catholic mission. The annual festival for the fertility and prosperity of the whole community is usually held at the beginning of the rainy season.  Sacrifices are made to the spirits for good health and bountiful harvests. Rice is the Padaung main crop. During the early stages the ear pieces are quite small, especially for younger women. The weight of the tusks gradually weighs down on the ear lobe and the ear gets larger and larger, and longer and longer. Then larger tusks are inserted and the process repeats itself until the woman’s ears become extremely elongated and floppy. The married woman wears these ear pieces for life.

 
 

Unmarried girls in these tribes do not wear the ear pieces, but they do wear white dresses, in contrast to the red and black dresses worn by the married women, and on the backs of their hands a few magical words are written in spiritual languages. These words carry meaning to bless these girls to have a happy life. 

 
 

The tradition of these Karen – Padaung who are sometimes referred to as the “Long- Ears” is one of the oldest of peoples in this part of the world. Long before any of the present day territories were formed by boundaries into nations or countries, the peoples of Southeast Asia, particularly mountain dwellers, practised a custom known as “Loaded Ears”. According to this custom, the ears, being one of the most sacred parts of the body, were an important object of adornment. For beauty in the women and for strength in the men, the ears of both sexes were loaded. Today, among the Karen-Padaung of Phrae and of Burma, this tradition is continued for the female gender only, once married.

 
     
  Tour Rate:   THB 500 / person  
  Round trip transfer service:  THB 500 / group   
Special offer:
You can visit more places those located on the same way with no additional charge.

  • Tiger Kingdom
  • Elephant Riding
  • Shooting Real Gun
  • Monkey Show
  • Snake Show
  • Elephant Show
  • Crocodile Show
  • Insects Zoo
  • Orchid & Butterfly Farm 
  • Buggy 
  • Bungy Jump
  • Zorb Ball
  • Go Kart riding
  • ATV riding
  • Handicraft Tour
   

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