Long neck Myanmar refugee tribal woman

Northern Thailand near the Myanmar/Burma borderlands. Long Neck hill tribe’s woman and daughter playing a little tune for me. I’ve always been self conscious about my long neck until today. 

long neck tribal woman

Simply amazed- here I am speechless, with long neck tribal woman and child.

Over the course of the women’s life, they add heavy brass rings around the neck, pressing down on the collarbones and lifting up the head, giving way for substantial space in the vertebra… in their culture a sign of absolute beauty.

Since I was a kid I wanted to travel- I tried to get my hands on any National Geographic growing up. The research on these tribal people shows that they are not from Thailand, in fact they are from Burma and are refugees permitted by the Thailand government to stay on this side of the border. To remain in Thailand safe from the chaos that drove them across the border.

Some people have criticized this tribe for exploiting the long neck for financial gain. Here’s the catch, because they are not residents of Thailand they are not allowed freedom to live and work legally in Thailand nor are they allowed to go back to Burma or they will be executed/ or imprisoned.

We live in a beautiful but sometimes unjust world. These people are peaceful. Just trying to live. If it were you and your lively hood I’m sure you would do your best to support your family and your heritage too. I have more to say and photos to share later on the day that I spent in the village.