Kayan: The Tribe of the Long Necks

Come with me on a little trip to a tribe located deep in the North of Thailand – the Kayan tribe. It’s a world where long necks and vibrant traditions weave together like threads in a captivating story.

Picture this: a quaint village surrounded by emerald greenery, where the air is imbued with the scent of exotic spices and the rhythmic hum of daily life. The Kayan people reside here. They are renowned for the distinctive tradition of wearing brass coils around their necks. This earns them the moniker “The Long Neck Tribe.”

The Mystery of the Long Neck

A Kayan woman with long neck and coils

Now, let’s dive into the heart of this phenomenon. The women of the Kayan tribe wear brass coils from a young age, gradually adding more over the years. Contrary to popular belief, the necks aren’t actually stretched.

The weight of the coils presses down the collarbone, creating the illusion of a longer neck. As you walk through the village, you’ll be greeted by these remarkable women adorned with layers of brass that glint in the sunlight.

Beyond the Long Necks

But it’s not just about the necks. The Kayan people have a rich cultural tapestry that adds depth to this seemingly peculiar practice.

Engage with the locals, and you’ll uncover a treasure trove of stories, myths, and legends passed down through generations.

Their traditional woven fabrics, vibrant costumes, and intricate jewelry narrate tales of resilience, heritage, and the spirit of a close-knit community.

As you navigate the village, you’ll notice that the Kayan people are not just living relics for curious travelers. They are artisans, storytellers, and guardians of a unique way of life.

Take a seat in one of the village huts, and you might enjoy a mesmerizing dance performance. If you’re lucky, you might hear the traditional song that reverberates through the bamboo walls, leaving you enchanted.

The Local Cuisine is to die for!

Kayan Long Neck aromatic soup

Speaking of enchantment, let’s delve into the local cuisine. The Kayan people excel in the culinary department by blending traditional flavors with a modern twist.

Picture yourself savoring a bowl of aromatic soup, the fragrance of lemongrass and herbs wafting through the air. It’s a culinary journey that mirrors the diversity of the Kayan culture, leaving your taste buds dancing with delight.

The basket with a sling

Kayan Long Neck women with baskets

The Kayan women have a great skill of weaving not only beautiful clothes, but also tall baskets. These baskets serve many purposes, including gathering farm produce. Some women even place their babies there while they go about their daily running.

How does marrying your first cousin sound to you?

Well, here in Kayan, genetically related people are encouraged to marry. Thanks to modernity, though, the marriage laws aren’t as rigid and strict.

The Kayan believe that those who don’t marry their “first cousins” will have a doomed marriage. There are, however, taboos. They include marrying someone in another generation, an in-law, or a member of an enemy tribe.

The journey isn’t over

Our adventure continues. Explore the nearby surroundings, and you’ll find undiscovered paths that lead to tranquil waterfalls and lush vegetation.

Take a leisurely stroll through the rice fields or embark on an exciting hike into the dense forests to experience how the Kayan people live in harmony with nature.

Farewell to the Long Necks

As we bid farewell to the Kayan tribe, our hearts are full of the warmth of shared smiles. The echoes of ancient stories and the vibrant colors of a culture that thrives in the embrace of tradition.

The Kayan people aren’t just a pitstop on your travel itinerary; they are the architects of an unforgettable chapter in your globetrotting adventure.

Head over to the land of long necks

So, explorers, pack your bags, set your compass northward, and let the allure of the Kayan tribe beckon you into a world where long necks meet even longer tales, creating a travel story that will stay etched in your heart forever. Have a safe trip, and may your journey be as captivating as the Kayan themselves!

You can check out how to take the best photographs for the trip right here.

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