The Hill Tribes of Myanmar
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The Padaung Tribe

In the southern Shan and Kayah States, you will find people of the 'Padaung' tribe. In fact, it is very easy to identify a Padung woman. Padaung women of Myanmar wear brass or silver rings and so their neck is about a feet long. The tradition says when a Padung girl reaches eight or nine years of her age, she must put on a brass or silver ring in her neck. Every year one more ring is added and later on, they must be worn in legs and arms too.

The Padaung tribe is related to another tribe, now extinct, the “Kang Yan”. The King of Kang Yan sent his son to King of Yunan, China, as an envoy. When the prince returned he was loaded with gifts and among all the things the Princess of Kang Yan loved the silver rings most. So much that she never took them, off. Now you know why the Padaung women try to preserve the tradition.

The rings’ numbers in a woman’s body determine how beautiful she actually looks. The rings are heavy, weighing almost 30 pounds. Not many have the skill to fit into the rings in a woman’s neck or take them out. One has to be expert to do the job.

All the bachelors and the widowers live in a hostel in a Padaung village. Once they marry, they leave the hostel. As for the marriage of Padaung couple, the day is decided by killing a pig. If the liver of the pig remains exact, the marriage takes place. It is tested thrice. The simple-minded people of the tribe avoid marriage between relatives, to the extent of nine generations.



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