Of course, the first question that comes to mind while looking at the Kayan women is why? Well, we don’t know for sure, but there are a couple of leading theories. Some say this is a tactic deployed to protect the young girls and women of the tribe from being taken away by other tribes.
According to this theory, the rings are put in order to make girls less attractive. A different theory claims the opposite, the purpose of the rings is to make women more appealing to men. Who doesn’t want a slim neck?
The Kayan Woman
In the Kayan tribes, only women are known to sport the brass coils. When a girl turns five, she receives her first neck rings. They usually start with only five rings, as it is the only thing that would fit their tiny necks at that point.
If you thought maybe they get to take the rings off at the end of the day, the same way that we take off our jewelry, you'd be wrong. The Kayan women do everything with their rings, including showering and sleeping.
Growing Up With Rings
With time, as Kayan girls grow, more rings are added and the small ones are replaced with bigger ones. The coils do something peculiar and unnatural — over the years, they work to elongate the women's necks.
But wait, the truth is, that despite what it looks like, the neck itself doesn't change at all. Yes, it stays the same, the rings just change the location of the collarbone, pushing it down. This creates the illusion of a more extended neck.
Kayan Women Want to Look Like Dragons?
Other theorists think that the coils are given to women in order to get them to look like dragons. Why dragons? The mythical creatures are important in the Kayan culture, so it makes sense.
Let us lay one last theory on you — there's a chance the coils are installed in order to protect women from being bitten by tigers! No matter the reason behind this unique custom, it inspired Giraffe Woman, who had reasons of her own.
How She Got Started
After learning that it was possible, she had one thing left to do — realize how she can achieve the look on her own. While the Kayan women start it at a young age, they also have centuries of experience passed on from older generations. This means that by now, they know exactly how it's done.
Sydney had to think about how to get the effect completely by herself. She started out using a household item we all have — wire coat hangers.