The Long Neck Women are the women of the Karen Tribe that lives in Northern Thailand.
I have known of the Long Neck Women tribe for most of my life but I never thought that I would get the opportunity to actually visit them in their village but recently I had the chance to spend a some time in their village and it was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I wanted to start by sharing a few pictures of the village to give you an idea of how the village looks.
There are so many things that I can say about my visit and I will try to give you just a few of the many things that impacted me from the small amount of time that had in their village
The most obvious is the trait that gives them their name. All of the women of the village wear brass rings around their neck which elongates their neck. The first thing that comes to your mind is that this is cruel and must be extremely painful but my understanding is that it does not cause any pain and wearing the rings is the equivalent to someone in our culture getting a tattoo.
The next thing that really stuck out to me is the dedication that the people in the Long Neck Women Village have to their culture. Their village is really not that far from modern culture and they frequently interact with the normal Thai culture. It would be so easy to walk away from the beliefs of their ancestors and become just another person in the sea of modern people but they have chosen to stand up for their beliefs and live differently than the majority of people around them.
The people of the Long Neck Women Village may seem to be radically different from our culture but they are so similar in many ways. I tried to look past the obvious things and observe the little things. What I saw was:
- People that cared about their homes
- People that cared about their appearance and tried to be in fashion
- People that worked hard and made a living the way that they had been taught by their parents.
- People that were kind and welcoming
- People that were happy and smiled a lot
- People that liked music
There are many more things that I could say about my experience in the village of the Long Neck Women but my goal for each post is to keep my write-ups brief. The bottom line is that I feel very privileged to have been allowed into their village and to been given a glimpse of their way of life. I have seen many of the world’s most beautiful and impressive sites but without a doubt this will always be one of my favorite travel experiences!
Photo Extra: When I travel I am always looking for interesting people in real life situations. Sometimes I will be able to photograph someone that is not aware that I am watching them. The series pictures below is of one of the women in the long neck village transitioning into a smile. I thought it was a great series of pictures and wanted to share them.