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Meeting with Padaung

Meeting with Padaung

by finemwd / Latest Tours / March 5, 2019

Meeting with Padaung

Meeting with Padaung (Long neck Karen women) in Myanmar!

  • Are you interested in travelling in Myanmar?
  • Do you want to explore some interesting places hors de beaten tracks?
  • Do you want to see some interesting tribes of Myanmar which has over 100 tribes?

Let us introduce our interesting minority tribe Padaung worldly known as long neck Karen


The Padaung tribe is a subgroup of the larger Kayah tribe, which in turn is a subgroup of the Karenni which in turn is a subgroup of the Karen. The Padaung have no written language and are best known for its long-necked women. The tribe is named after the Padaung area, where most of them live. There are about 10,000 people in the tribe.
"Padaung" means "long neck" in the Shan language. Their homes and villages are found scattered in the area between the Kayah State, east of Taungoo and Southern Shan State. Some inhabit the plains in the basin of the Paunglaung River which are also part of the Kayah State.

The Padaung woman's traditional attire consists of a colorful, elegant turban with a short thick loose shift and leggings. Padaung women wear a short, dark-blue skirt edged with red with a loose white tunic also trimmed with red and a short blue jacket A turban-like headscarf is draped around their head. When working they wear short- sleeved smocks. Amit R. Paley wrote in the Washington Post, “The traditional wardrobe for Padaung women is a red, saronglike dress with a blue or magenta jacket and towel like head covering. Most distinctive are the dozens of rattan rings that circle their waists." Men wear the basic Southeast Asian longji.

No one is really sure how the custom evolved. The Kayan have no written language. Even elders don't know. There are different theories as to how the custom originated. One suggests men put the rings on their women to deter slave traders. Another says the rings protected children from being killed by tigers, which tend to attack at the neck. Other say the custom began as a tribute to a dragon-mother progenitor. According to some people, Padaung women began wearing the coils to protect their necks against tiger attacks and continued wearing them after tigers were no longer a threat because Padaung men found the coils made the women more sexually desirable. Some say the custom have been dreamed up and perpetuated by tour guides. Most agree it is a form of adornment and may have been a way of saving and showing off family wealth. A Paduang woman told National Geographic, "Wearing brass ring around your neck makes you beautiful."

In the old days it was said the women never took the coils off and that if they did the woman's neck would topple over and she would die from suffocation, a punishment sometimes meted out if the woman committed adultery. This seems to have be a myth. These days you often women not wearing their coils and looks as if their neck is no danger of suddenly collapsing. The belief that only girls born under a full moon on Wednesday can wear them also seems to be a myth.
Traditionally, at the age of five the first coils are placed around a young girl's neck by a medicine man who chose the date for this ritual by examining chicken bones. The first set of coils has a break at about the seventh rung above the clavicle to permit head mobility. As the girl grows taller, larger sets of coils replace the outgrown ones." A little pillow on top of the loops cushions the chin. One 12-year-old girl told the New York Times she started wearing the coils when she was six and had 16 around her neck that cost $160,The custom is dying out in traditional Pandaung villages where people are so poor they prefer spend their hard earned money on rice rather than brass.

Padaung land is a low mountain land and villages of Padaung dispersing over the small hills .After tourism opening to some remote areas ,we organize tours to Padaung land to meet Long neck Karen Ladies or Padaung ladies .They are warmly welcomed to tourists and sometimes they play their traditional music to tourists .Exploring villages and meeting them working in the fields or at their home is one of the interesting things ever we discover and they will  let you know some of incredible traditions and cultures of the  people in the world .How hard to be them to live a a week like them in their culture ?

Our special Tour to Padaung original inhabitant land for 6 Days / 5 Nights

Tour Code: PD 1001

Tour Name: Meeting with Padaung in loikaw

Price: Price will be varied up to the number of the travelers and please send us an enquiry mail.

Service Included: Hotels, Meals, Local Guide, all kind of transports and local English speaking guide


This Tour is mainly designed to let you discover our endangered tribe Padaung .Padaung are worldly popular minority tribe for their wearing brass coils around their neck according to their traditions .They are firstly introduced to the tourism as one of the tribe of Thailand .Originally, they are from Myanmar and some did migration to Thailand border area with Myanmar to escape from civil war conflict in 1960s. Their original villages are found in the suburb area of Loikaw city. During this tour, you will discover Padaung villages together some sub ethnic of Karen such as Red Karen with their untouched their customs in loikaw.Plus You will also discover Famous Inle Lake with leg rowing technology of lake inhabitants and Villages on the water .In addition , you will make a short tour in Myanmar biggest economic city “ Yangon “.

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