The Padong Women are the long necked women. They live in a small village but come into Inle Lake area to a weaving shop each day where they weave and pose for tourist photos. I have mixed feelings about this whole practice and understand that the women, who choose when they are children, if they want to wear the brass rings, currently do so because they make money by attracting tourists. The tradition is not understood basically because there is no written language in their culture so the only information is that which is handed down from generation to generation. They are the nicest and most accommodating people you can imagine.
The rings are put on at three times in their lives. The first is at about age 12. This young girl is 14. I had just caught her after she put a cookie into her mouth.
Then, more rings (or coils) and put on the neck at age 17, and the final addition of coils is put on in the early twenties. The neck is actually not lengthened; the weight of the coils presses the shoulders down. The coils weigh over 20 pounds and measure about one foot in length. All these women also wear coils on their legs making them walk in a strange manner.
I was particularly interested in the young girl and wondered about what her life would be like in this day and age.