Giraffe Women

Thousands of years ago, when attacks on tribes in many parts of the world was common, women in the Kayani tribes of Burma (now Myanmar) began to melt down their valuables & coil them around their necks, arms, and ankles in order to keep their treasure safe.

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In the event of an attack, they would be able to escape with all their valuables in tow.

Ingenious, huh?

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Today, the women of these tribes are called ‘Giraffe Women,‘ and their neck-coiling custom is still alive & well in Thailand, where Kayani tribes have migrated in order to escape a brutal regime in their home country.

But the neck rings today are made of brass instead of gold, and young Kayani girls begin wearing them at the age of 5, adding one coil each year thereafter.

kayan-girl-wearing-neck-rings

Take a peek at this custom.

You may even learn how to coil your own neck!

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Can you see yourself as a ‘giraffe?’

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Foreign Eyes Friday

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10 thoughts on “Giraffe Women

  1. Great information! I haven’t been to Thailand, but I have seen photos of “giraffe women” and wondered what was behind the custom. Your first image is really incredible!

    • Thank you, Dawn! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. The photographer who shot these photos really captured the essence of these women. And the history behind these coils is fascinating. I love discovering the story behind the things we sort of know about…

    • Yes! But I still don’t get that. I mean, even with the collar bone smushed down as far as it can go, I still don’t see how that gives such an incredibly elongated appearance to the neck…???

  2. Thank you for liking my blog about the bombed out church in Liverpool! I see you are another woman who shares a love of travel and a spirit of adventure. Nice to meet you. (CC)

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