The Ancient Tradition Of Neck Stretching


For decades, having a long neck has been considered desirable, and some modern women still aspire for it. We’re not talking about surgical cosmetic operations here; we’re talking about the practise of wearing rings around the neck to lengthen it.

Though it may seem weird to some, it is one of the oldest forms of body alteration, and it is still practised by many women in a number of countries, including the United States.

Where Did The Trend Originate?

The use of neck rings can be traced all the way back to the 11th century in Southeast Asia, according to historians. No one has been able to pinpoint a specific motive for their actions. One of the most popular traditions about the rings is that villagers used them to protect themselves from tiger assaults, which were most likely directed at the neck. Another theory is that it was done to protect women from being abducted by competing tribesmen by giving them a less attractive appearance. Today, however, the contrary is true, since the tradition is still alive and well in Myanmar, where the appearance is seen as lovely and graceful.

The ladies of Africa’s Ndebele tribe wear copper and brass rings not just around their necks, but also around their legs and limbs. The rings are presented to women by their husbands and worn as a show of faithfulness; they were once only removed after the ladies died; currently, however, women do not wear them permanently.

They Begin Stretching At The Age Of 5

Eddie Chang on Unsplash

Girls of Myanmar’s Karen (or Kayan) and Padaung tribes are given their first rings at the age of five. However, wearing them isn’t always simple. The coils, which are usually made of brass, start out weighing roughly four and a half pounds, and more are added over time. The coils they wear are often completely replaced so that thicker coils can be inserted in their place. Many girls and women are known to like having their coils replaced because it is the only chance they get to have that part of their body exposed.

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