In a few African and Asian cultures multiple neck rings are worn usually to stretch the neck. The Kayan people from the country of Myanmar and Thailand begin to wear neck rings when they are children. Gradually with age the number of "brass coils" worn increases to elongate the neck.The custom of wearing neck rings is related to an ideal of beauty: an elongated neck. Neck rings push the collarbone and ribs down and stretch the neck muscles several inches. The stretching of the muscles takes several years to occur. The neck stretching is mostly illusory; the weight of the rings twists the collar bone and eventually the upper ribs to create the illusion of an elongated neck.
The Padaung tribe of Burma considered a long neck beautiful. About age 5, girls were introduced to the first neck ring. As they grew, rings were added. Their shoulders were pushed down, making the neck look longer. Also, this showed off the family's valuable metal rings, indicating wealth.A fully stretched neck was between 10-15" long! A woman could not drink from a cup, because tipping her head back would overbalance her and she would fall! She could only drink from a straw. And forget looking at the sky! If a woman offended her tribe, her rings were cut off and she would choke to death, unless someone held her head up!
AN ANIMATED X-RAY VIEW OF THE NECK STRETCH PROCESS IS SHOWN BELOW
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