Kayan PeopleThe Kayan are a sub-group of Red Karen, Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Myanmar (Burma). A 2004 estimate puts the population at approximately 130,000. About 600 Kayan reside in the three villages open to tourists in Mae Hong Sorn, or in the Ban Mai Nai Soy refugee camp. According to Kayan tradition the Kayan settled in the Demawso area of Karenni State (Kayah State) in 739 AD.
- In the late 1980s and early 1990s due to conflict with the military regime in Myanmar, many Kayan tribes fled to the Thai border area.
- Among the refugee camps set up there was a Long Neck section, which became a tourist site, self-sufficient on tourist revenue and not needing financial assistance.
- Kayan people - Myanmar
- The weight of the rings twists the collarbone and eventually the upper ribs at an angle 45 degrees lower than what is natural, causing the illusion of an elongated neck.
- The vertebrae do not elongate, though the space between them may increase as the intervertebral discs absorb liquid.
- Could it be some sort of a cargo cult?
- Or... could there be an alternate reason why only three villages are open to tourists?
- What if males outside of these three villages also have longer necks?
There is a Pinterest group dedicated to these long necked individuals. All of them appear to be males though.
- The Monstrous Tartar (Tartars are monsters, don't you forget)
I did not find much about these necks in the older texts. Here is what we do have.
1654There was a biblical reference too.
1752The painting is popularly called Madonna of the Long Neck because "the painter, in his eagerness to make the Holy Virgin look graceful and elegant, has given her a neck like that of a swan."
Madonna with the Long Neck
Madonna with the Long Neck
A ruff is an item of clothing worn in Western, Central, and Northern Europe from the mid-16th century to the mid-17th century. The ruff, which was worn by men, women and children, evolved from the small fabric ruffle at the drawstring neck of the shirt or chemise. The size of the ruff increased as the century went on. "Ten yards is enough for the ruffs of the neck and hand" for a New Year's gift made by her ladies for Queen Elizabeth I in 1565, but the discovery of starch allowed ruffs to be made wider without losing their shape.
- By the start of the seventeenth century, ruffs were falling out of fashion in Western Europe, in favour of wing collars and falling bands.
KD: Necks on the paintings are obviously not as long as the ones on the engraving (exaggeration?). Yet, one could argue that these types of neck supports were a necessity (similar to the lightning rod accessories) rather than fashion. You understand where I'm going with this, so I'll just leave it at that.
- If you have any opinions or additional information, please share in the comments section below.