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The Long Neck Karen of Pai

September 2, 2016
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This is chapter 13 of the Graduate & Live 2016 Summer Tour of Asia, where three traveling freelancers take advantage of their freedom. In this installment, Ryan, Aom and Ashley remain in Pai where they visit one of the most iconic tribal groups on Earth.

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Ashley Lombardo


While we were in Pai, we decided to take a trip to visit Mapow, a member of the Long Neck Karen tribe that Ryan and Aom had met previously. The Long Neck Karen are known for the long brass rings worn around the neck.

The elongated necks of the Long Neck Karen have made them famous in the region. The brass rings worn around the neck are part of an ancient, neck-lengthening tradition. Many of the women, descendants of hill tribes from Myanmar, traveled to Thailand to escape political unrest.

Though its difficult for some to speak the language, the Karen are able to keep their heritage alive. The long neck women make money by hand-weaving scarves and creating other beautiful crafts, which are then sold to tourists.

Ashley Lombardo
Ashley Lombardo
Ashley Lombardo is a freelance writer.

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