Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe & Padaung women

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Information about Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe & Padaung women

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: michaelasanda



Thank you!
Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Shan Hills in Myanmar (Burma). It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 km2), and one of the highest at an altitude of 2,900 feet (880 m). During the dry season, the average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m), but during the rainy season this can increase by 5 feet (1.5 m).

Inle Lake is found in the Shan State in a valley surrounded by lush green mountains. The lake is freshwater and is home to around 70,000 people who mostly survive through fishing and farming.

The nearest airport is Heho Airport which is 35 km away. There are flights from both Yangon and Mandalay. Yangon is 660 km away by road, Mandalay 330 km.

Inle Lake is in the heart of Shan State, which has been the location of much of the civil and political strife over the last two decades. Political imprisonments and disappearances are common. Nyaung Shwe is a small town at the north end of Inle Lake. One can take a walk to nearby villages and countryside and find the ruins of the old monasteries. Yadana Man Aung pagoda

Yadana Man Aung pagoda

Yadana Man Aung Pagoda is situated in Nyaung Shwe. Built by Nyaung Shwe Saw Bwar Soe Maung (Chieftain of Shan) in 1866, this Pagoda is famous for its Shan traditional architecture

Local taxi

Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns, Christ plant, Christ thorn)

Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns, Christ plant, Christ thorn)

The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Nyaung Shwe

Nyaung Shwe

Nyaung Shwe

Nyaung Shwe is also the starting point of the trip into the Inle Lake.

Floating village

Golden Island Cottages Hotel

Golden Island Cottages Hotel

Iwama village, Padaung women

The Kayan are a subgroup of the Red Karen people, a Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Myanmar. The Kayan consists of the following groups: Kayan Lahwi (also called Padaung), Kayan Ka Khaung (Gekho), Kayan Lahta, Kayan Ka Ngan. Kayan Gebar, Kayan Kakhi and, sometimes, Bwe people (Kayaw).

Padaung (Yan Pa Doung) is a Shan term for the Kayan Lahwi (the group whose women wear the brass neck coils). The Kayan resident in Mae Hong Son Province in Northern Thailand refer to themselves as Kayan and object to being called Padaung.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s due to conflict with the military regime in Burma, many Kayan tribes fled to the Thai border area. Among the refugee camps set up there was a Long Neck section, which became a tourist site, self-sufficient on tourist revenue and not needing financial assistance.

One of the most striking of ethnic groups is the long necked Padaung nationals living in the Shan State. Their unique attractiveness is their well acclaimed brass rings on the women's necks.

There are two kinds of Padaung- one puts rings on women's necks called "long-necked Padaungs" and the other, without rings on women's necks called "short necked Padaungs."

Interesting to note is how Padaung women put the rings on their necks, a tradition passed down from their great grand parents to this

At the early age of five or six years, the spiral brass rings are put around the Padaung girl's neck. More neck rings are added every four years, up to nine times until the age of (45).

The Padaungs live in a single house or hut, and most of them are farmers and hunters.

There are still many Padaung women “stuck” in Burma, although they live in areas of the country deemed “unsafe” for tourists to travel.

Unlike normal accessories, these rings are for life and may only be removed with the direst of results. Adultery among Padaung women has always been punished by the removal of the rings, a fate almost literally, worse than death. This is an unusually cruel punishment as the cervical vertebrae has become deformed after years of wearing the rings, and the neck muscles have atrophied. Unless she wishes to risk suffocation the unfortunate wife must pay for the infidelity by spending the rest of her life lying down or try to find some other artificial support for her neck

Bronze and silver bracelets also cover the womens legs and arms, a custom likely to remain.

The neck rings however, may very well become extinct within a generation or two as younger Padaung women are beginning to refuse to fit the rings around their children's necks.

By the last round, the rings will weigh about (5) kg. This custom of neck rings has attracted a great deal of interest.

Text: Internet Pictures: Sanda Foişoreanu & Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu Sound Saung Zaw Win Maung - A walk on the floral bridge

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