Opening Asia for Russia

25.03.2019 95 просмотров

The canons of beauty among the peoples of the world are different. Some of them may seem rather peculiar and even extravagant. As, for example, in the Padaung tribe of the Karen mountain people in Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, where they believe that the longer the female neck, the more beautiful its owner.

Representatives of the Padaung people live mainly in Myanmar, but some of them, in the 1990s - during the protracted military conflict in Burma, moved to the north of Thailand. & nbsp; They are there today semi-legally, but, in general, they live tolerably. The total number of these people, who have chosen mountainous areas as their habitat, is over 50 thousand people. All padaungs are animists, that is, they believe in the existence of souls and spirits, as well as in the animation of all nature.

In addition, these people have one very unusual custom - from early childhood, from about 5 years old, women stretch their necks with heavy copper rings. Each ring is, in fact, a spiral, the thickness of which is about a centimeter. Every year, one additional ring is put on the girls' necks, as a result of which their necks stretch so much that tourists call the local representatives of the fair sex "giraffe women". This is understandable - the necks sometimes stretch 40 centimeters and really look a bit like giraffes! 

Giraffe Women of Burma and Thailand
Twenty-twenty-five "spirals", which weigh approximately five to seven kilograms, are worn by a Padaung woman. Photo:

The number of rings that an adult woman usually wears is twenty to twenty-five "spirals", their weight is approximately five to seven kilograms. If necessary, the rings can be removed and then put back on. However, this procedure is not fast and, in general, is still traumatic, although the tribe claims that this is done without health consequences. It happens that some women, for one reason or another, refuse to wear rings - surprisingly, the neck, "built up" for many years, after a while becomes almost normal size. All it takes is one to three years. But - again! - the question is how much the woman has increased her neck. Elderly ladies, perhaps, do not risk removing rings, since their neck has long been formed, and their neck muscles have noticeably atrophied - therefore, it is not so easy to keep your head without spirals. And no matter what they say, it seems unsafe.

As it turns out, Padaung women usually increase the number of rings only before marriage. When this event occurs, the skeleton is already generally formed - and the neck, in general, does not lengthen. But most married women get so used to their rings that they usually wear them for the rest of their lives - only sometimes the old rings are replaced with new ones. The main thing is to be beautiful! 
The doctors who examined these women came to the conclusion that, if the neck itself is stretched due to the rings, it is not so much: it is mainly the shoulder region that is deformed, which is gradually “tamped down” under the weight of the rings, as it is attached to the skeleton with just one joint. And the long neck is just an illusion, an appearance, if you will, but in reality there are no drastic changes in the neck itself, except for a few atrophied muscles. 

In the Padaung tribe, girls begin to stretch their necks from a very early age. Photo:

The Padaungs like to entertain tourists with stories that traitor wives were punished by removing their rings, dooming them to death. However, doctors refute these horror stories, considering them to be an exaggeration, because with certain preparation and a series of exercises, female giraffes can live a completely normal life.

Sometimes the spirals are made deliberately too high. It seems that the head is very high in relation to the shoulders. Yes, if the rings are placed on the neck in this way, then the woman really partly loses the ability to fully control the turns and tilts of her head, but these are purely mechanical obstacles. True, it is hardly possible to remove the spiral rings on your own - you cannot do without someone else's help. 

Giraffe Women of Burma and Thailand
Installing rings. Photo:

Female giraffes wear rings not only around their necks, but also on their arms and legs. Where this tradition came from, no one really knows. Someone connects her with the fact that in this way women allegedly could protect their necks from tiger bites. But from the point of view of real practice, this is complete nonsense, since only a gun saves from the teeth of a tiger and its claws. Someone believes that the rings, they say, prevented the kidnapping of girls by strangers - they say that once the theft of brides from foreign villages was considered an ordinary matter. It happened that some ladies themselves fled to a strange village. Perhaps the tradition of lengthening the neck arose precisely for this reason - because of the desire to disfigure their women so that they would not attract other men. It was only later that other explanations for this phenomenon began to be found. & nbsp; In general, there are many versions, and perhaps a good dozen more entertaining stories will be told to you. But in the Padaung tribe, long-necked women are now considered the most beautiful. The neck is a sign not only of beauty, but also of well-being, because the family of the future husband has to seriously fork out in order to get the beauty with the longest neck as his wife.  Such brides are in great demand! 

 Giraffe women of Burma and Thailand
Padang women make money to life mainly by demonstrating their "charms". Photo:

Today, many women continue to wear hoops - and thus earn a living for their family. Many tourists come specially to look at them, and, accordingly, & nbsp; actively buy souvenirs - handicrafts that are made by women themselves, their husbands and children. For many, a long neck is a quite profitable business that allows you to live normally.

However, modern realities are making adjustments to the life of the Padaung tribe - many girls no longer dream of long necks, because they see themselves in their dreams in cities where it is somehow not customary to walk with rings around your neck.


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