It is a tragedy that some brutal and painful practices never became a part of history instead they have become traditions and are being followed in various parts of the world.
The tradition of wearing brass coils on neck, an agony to the human body is followed by women in Kayan Tribe of Myanmar. Kayan’s large group is also settled in northern Thailand.
Brass coil can weigh upto 20 kgs and this tradition of wearing brass coils on neck is to lengthen the neck of women as the deformation of collar bones results in stretching necks. The neck ring is believed to be the signature mark for the tribe’s women.
On the contrary, some people claim that the tradition originated to make women less appealing, to keep them safe from being kidnapped. Others believe that, in 11th century, the villagers used to wear brass coils to protect themselves from tiger attacks.
Some of the Kayan’s women are not allowed to choose about what weight of brass they can bear. Instead they are directly told to wear heavy ones. In the age of five to six, Kayan girls begin to wear the brass rings and with the passage of time, the brass rings are replaced with another longer ones.
Earlier in 1962, the Burmese military forces took control over Burma, currently known as Myanmar. The forces aimed and tried to eliminate some of the cultural practices, including neck elongation to modernize the society.
However, wearing the brass rings on neck can result in severe health condition like blood clotting, atrophied neck muscles, pain, infection, deformation of the bone structure, and blockage of the blood flow.
The tribe also maintains their tradition as it has become a tourist attraction. People interestingly visit them and show curiosity over attaining the information about wearing the brass rings on neck.