The long-necked tribe in the village of Nai Sui in northern Thailand is a tribe that is visited every day, because they want to see the women of the tribe wearing many gold rings around their necks. These women, some of whom are refugees from Burma, are also called the “giraffe women” because of their long necks decorated with rings.

What is the lifestyle of the long-necked clan?

According to tradition, even when they were girls, they wore gold rings on their necks at a unique ceremony attended by the villagers. As their age progresses, so does the number of rings that decorate their necks. The neck of adult women can reach up to 30 cm and can hold 25 gold rings, which means they wear 5 kg of rings. The most prominent sleeping position among the women of the tribe is sleep on their back and their daily conduct is made with the rings so that they form an integral part of their bodies. Due to the weight of the rings, a great deal of pressure is exerted on the collarbone, which causes the cervical vertebrae to lengthen unnaturally. These rings actually cause the shoulders of the women to fall and their necks to weaken. Because the gaps between the cervical vertebrae are particularly large, their neck muscles are degenerated, so that without the rings their head will lose its stability and may find their waist. Women who have chosen to remove the rings must do so lying down to give support to the head and are also required to remain in a lying position for a long period of time to help the muscles get stronger, which can not always help because the weight of the rings can damage the neck in an irreparable way.

Why do they wear gold rings?

The custom of wearing the gold rings began in order to guard against attacks by tigers who were in the area where the tribe lived in the past, so they say at least. The legend that tigers attacked two of the tribe’s women and cut their necks was the source of the long-standing tradition and the well-known golden rings. Because tigers are drawn to the blood vessels, the women of the tribe hid their veins by means of the gold rings they wore. Also, the women wear rings not only to their necks but also to their hands and feet. These rings are yellow copper and can not rust, so the women shower with them and actually live with them routinely.

Where can I see them?

Following the Burmese regime, the tribe wandered into Thailand, so that today the women of the giraffe living in northern Thailand continue to preserve the tradition and earn most of their money from tourists who come to see them and sell souvenirs they sell in the village. Recently, there has been a discussion about the visit to the long-necked tribe, with some voices expressing a negative attitude on the issue. At the same time, it is important to remember that these are refugees without many social benefits and therefore can not find legal work. So the tourists who come to visit and buy the women’s handicrafts, help them earn money and earn a living. The women of the giraffe knit and knit so that they create a wide variety of items, which are known as souvenirs for visitors and tourists who visit the area every day. The men in the tribe tend to tattoo their bodies and are responsible for the housework that requires great physical effort.

There are several villages in the east where you can find the long-necked tribe, but the arrival of the tribe known in northern Thailand was done by an organized jeep tour lasting 3 days.