ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Thailand's Human Zoos, Karen Padaung Long Neck Hill Tribe People

Updated on February 18, 2012
Young Girl With Neck Rings
Young Girl With Neck Rings | Source

Karen Padaung
The Karen Padaung are a sub group of the Karen Hill Tribe people, they are famous for the neck rings worn by the women of the tribe. There is said to be a population of approximately 50,000 people in total, most of whom live near the Thai Burma border area. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, many Karen tribes fled to the Thailand, due to conflict with the military regime in Burma. The Thai government granted them refugee status, but they only allowed them to live in certain areas. Since then they have become a tourist attraction, with villages offering tours to come and view the long neck women. There are three of these Karen villages in Mae Hong Son province in Thailand. The largest is on the Pai river, close to the Thai Burma border.


Neck Rings
The Karen Padaung believe that a long neck is a sign of beauty, and they use neck rings made of brass to stretch the neck of the women of the tribe. It is said that in the past, these rings were applied in order to protect the women from tigers that may try to attack by biting the neck. These rings are first applied to young girls as young as 5 years old. Over the years each ring or coil is replaced with longer coil, as the weight of the brass coils pushes down on the collar bone it compresses the rib cage. Many people believe that the neck is stretched, when in fact the neck is not actually lengthened; the illusion of a longer neck is created by the deformation of the clavicle.

Human Zoos
In Thailand these villages are an important part of the economy in some areas. Tourists are charged approximately 10USD per person in order to enter these "Human Zoos". Once they are inside there is heavy pressure to buy souvenirs and arts and crafts. In January 2008, the United Nations High Commissioner expressed concerns about tourists visiting these villages in Northern Thailand due to the Provincial Government’s refusal to allow these refugees to take up offers of resettlement in other countries. Armed rebel groups in Burma have expressed interest in returning the refugees to the Kayah State in order to set up their own tourist villages.

Responsible Tourism
We believe that tourists should not participate in the exploitation of these or any other people. By paying a fee to go and look at people you are taking part in their exploitation. The women receive only a small percentage of the profits that are made, most of the money goes to Thai tour operators. The girls of these tribes will never have the freedom to choose not to participate in this tradtion as long as tourists make it profitable. By paying to visit one of these villages, you are ensuring that more 5 year old girls will be forced to wear the neck rings. If it were not for the exploitation of these tribes, this tradition would have likely died long ago. In 2006, many of the young women in Mae Hong Son started to remove their rings either to give them the opportunity to continue their education, or in protest against the exploitation of their culture. In 2008, most of the young women who entered these refugee camps removed their rings. One older woman who wore the rings for over 40 years also removed her rings.

Karen Long Neck Girls

Silver Jewelry By Hill Tribe People Of Thailand
Silver Jewelry By Hill Tribe People Of Thailand | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Pabtawan 

      3 years ago

      c15bhublot big bang replica Thanks a lot for the hepflul article. It is also my belief that mesothelioma cancer has an very long latency interval, which means that signs and symptoms of the disease may well not emerge until eventually 30 to 50 years after the first exposure to me d8

    • profile image

      Sonu 

      3 years ago

      Wow, the photos are amznaig! You look stunning Shannon, and you both look so happy congratualtions! The Photos of Mila are beautiful, can't wait to see you guys again and hear all about your special day, from us all xx

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 

      5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      I am reading all your hubs.They greatly interest me because of the exposes you have diligently researched and written. Great job! I sure would love to do documentary exposes in the Philippines.I have quite a bit to tell starting from my town north of the Philippines.That area alone is enough to fill the pages of a book. Keep writing these topics, and I will keep reading.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 

      5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      Thanks for the documentary. Sad that this happens.All in the name of the mighty buck.Money talks everywhere with complete disregard and respect for culture and tradition.I bet these indigenous tribal people could not care less for all the money flowing in.Currency is a language they probably cannot understand but thanks to unscrupulous opportunists who make these people pawns for capitalistic gains. SAD SAD SAD!!!

    • profile image

      Belinda 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for educating people like myself, whose thought was that these tribal women liked the rings worn around their neck. It is really a shame that greed along with cultural ignorance is the cause of so much human suffering today!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)