Views: 398 (158 Unique) 
Vote 129
Award Shortlist   

Red Karen

By WhiteRose1  
The Kayan are a sub-group of the Red Karen (Karenni) people, a Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Burma. Women of the various Kayan tribes identify themselves by their different form of dress, the Kayan Lahwi tribe being well known for wearing these neck rings, brass coils that are placed around the neck, appearing to lengthen it. Girls first start to wear rings when they are around five years old and over the years the coil is replaced by a longer one with more turns. The weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. The neck itself is not lengthened; the appearance of a stretched neck is created by the deformation of the clavicle.

A wonderful response to my Q of monks - thank you. P/Ms sent.

Keep warm and safe today.

Dave

Tags: Portrait Kayan Karen Landscape and travel Burman Neck rings

Voters: almiles, gajewski, Russell_Charles and 126 more

Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Comments


gajewski Plus
11 10 9 United States
19 Jan 2013 7:05AM
Thanks for including the commentary -- very interesting.
A great shot, Dave.
-=\Walter

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

almiles Plus
6 38 102 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 7:07AM
Wow you persuaded her to let you get close and she has put a very dignified and stately pose for you. Strong eye contact and the way her adornments frame her face to strengthen the effect. Great diffused lighting at the edge of the building means all those lovely colours are shown off. As exotic travel portraits go, it doesn't really get any better than this!
You are producing a great series and this is a great shot. Sharp, crisp with lovely colours you did very well to catch the detail in your subject despite not using fill flash. keep them coming. Regards
19 Jan 2013 7:09AM
Fascinating, presumably they suffer ill health eventually because of it. Makes for a powerful image
19 Jan 2013 7:15AM
Excellent, I didn't know it was still practiced.This is a amazing portrait of colour and culture and you have made it better with the most interesting information, thank you!
RonnieAG Plus
6 153 116 Scotland
19 Jan 2013 7:22AM
I was just 10 years old back in the early 1950's when I first came aware of these women: a group had been brought over from Burma by Cyril Mills and they toured with Bertram Mills Circus, then the very best circus in the UK.
They were referred to as giraffe necked women..
Then much more recently there was a TV programme in which one was able to see X-rays of these womens' necks and thoraces, and the deformity you describe was quite remarkable.
This is a very fine shot of one these women from this tribe, Dave: did not imagine it would be a subject you'd come across so readily on the 'tourist trail'.
Ronnie.
19 Jan 2013 7:34AM
This amazing Dave ! One tribe in South Africa, the Ndebele , also have woman wear neck rings complimented with bigger beaded rings Smile I always thought it was unique to Africa Smile A great photo !!
CarolG Plus
9 192 18 Greece
19 Jan 2013 7:41AM
An excellent capture, Dave, though I find it rather disturbing, surely they must suffer problems later in life. Carol
marktc Plus
5 85 14 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 7:53AM

Quote:Wow you persuaded her to let you get close and she has put a very dignified and stately pose for you. Strong eye contact and the way her adornments frame her face to strengthen the effect. Great diffused lighting at the edge of the building means all those lovely colours are shown off. As exotic travel portraits go, it doesn't really get any better than this!


All the above said by Al, plus a great narrative. Superb Dave...
EAS Plus
6 1 13 Scotland
19 Jan 2013 7:54AM
Can't help but feel thankful I don't belong to this tribe! It is, however, a perfectly captured portrait and I found the info fascinating.

Ann

Quote:An excellent capture, Dave, though I find it rather disturbing, surely they must suffer problems later in life. Carol

I always wondered Dave, how do they live all their lives with these neck rings
Effrossini
RonnieAG Plus
6 153 116 Scotland
19 Jan 2013 8:06AM
I have a correction to make to my comment above, Dave.
On checking up in Cyril Mills story of his father's circus, "Bertram Mills Circus", I discovered that in 1952 a group of these Burmese women had been taken to the USA by an American promoter who had promised that they would be returned to their own country after a certain time. This did not happen and they were posted as missing. Cyril Mills heard about their plight and managed to persuade the authorities that if he could bring them over to Olympia for the Christmas Season of the circus there, he would ensure that they were sent home thereafter. Apparently their side show at Olympia drew enormous crowds. I stated that they toured with the circus, but that was not so........after the Olympia season closed, they were in fact returned to Burma, and they did not tour with the travelling circus.

ronnie.
fentiger Plus
14 916 23 England
19 Jan 2013 8:11AM
Amazing what different cultures will do to themselves. This is an excellent character study Dave.

Albert
zapar40 Plus
5 66 5 Wales
19 Jan 2013 8:13AM
an amazing portrait, Dave.
ant.
jasonrwl Plus
6 1.0k 10 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 8:29AM
Very well taken Dave - you certainly had a most interesting trip
Jason
Lillian Plus
6 21 16 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 8:37AM
Very interesting reading yours and Ronnie's words here Dave
a portrait to really be proud of she has so much dignity and
a very serene look from being relaxed with you capturing this
well done you!
Lillian
pluckyfilly Plus
9 350 33 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 8:50AM
what a long neck! superb insight to another world, colourful and a wonderful expression captured
Excellent image and very informative write up.

Deep
19 Jan 2013 9:01AM
An amazing photograph, Dave and a wonderful narrative describing part of another culture which I am aware of but know little about - but do now!
Thank you!

Richard
CaroleS Plus
5 361 3 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 9:07AM
Amazing culture - she looks so serene. Superb eye contact - a superb portrait.
Carole
19 Jan 2013 9:08AM
Excellent portrait Dave, love the detail,
Fred.
their goverment should ban it great portrait then
LynneJoyce Plus
7 20 99 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 9:45AM
Wonderfully clear and crisp portrait. I don't see this practice as any less bizarre than Western women having breast implants and liposuction.
19 Jan 2013 9:49AM
Such knowing eyes....
Beautiful portrait
nonur Plus
7 15 9 Turkey
19 Jan 2013 10:11AM
Very interesting informative write up, and gorgeous colour portrait, Dave.
Good write up Dave, enjoying seeing these Burma captures . Good pose and the colour is spot on.

John
19 Jan 2013 10:29AM
Great travel shot.
Wayne
19 Jan 2013 10:31AM
Interesting photo and write up. Smile Smile Smile
Rende Plus
8 38 4 Netherlands
19 Jan 2013 10:57AM
Beautiful and very interesting portrait Dave. Thanks for the info; I didn't know about the clavicle; at least they don't damage their necks.
Rende
Mavis Plus
13 143 2 England
19 Jan 2013 11:01AM

Quote:I was just 10 years old back in the early 1950's when I first came aware of these women: a group had been brought over from Burma by Cyril Mills and they toured with Bertram Mills Circus, then the very best circus in the UK.
They were referred to as giraffe necked women..
Then much more recently there was a TV programme in which one was able to see X-rays of these womens' necks and thoraces, and the deformity you describe was quite remarkable.
This is a very fine shot of one these women from this tribe, Dave: did not imagine it would be a subject you'd come across so readily on the 'tourist trail'.
Ronnie.



A great Portrait. So proud looking . She looks a very intellegent person . Wonder how they wash their necks ?
lonely_oryx 8 61 54 England
19 Jan 2013 11:17AM
Brilliant portrait. I came across the Karen in Thailand but they did not have the neck decorations
19 Jan 2013 11:56AM
I think I have a pain in neck all ready just looking at her Dave. It must be so uncomfortable. I am not wonder she is making eye contact with all those rings round her neck neither she can look up or down. I hope they they take them off when they go to bedWinkWinkWink.
Anyway, chracking portrait, she is very beautiful so she can have my award.
ElenaSmileSmile
andylea 7 37 1 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 11:58AM
fantastic detail dave brilliant colour and light a stunning portrait nice one Wink
andy
19 Jan 2013 12:16PM
It certainly gives her the ring of confidence Dave, these people would find the culture on piercing, on very intimate parts of the body, that goes on in our Country distasteful I expect. The clarity and sparkle in the eye is excellent, great capture.


Regards

Trev.
SlowSong Plus
7 5.8k 29 England
19 Jan 2013 12:26PM
A rather drastic way of hiding a double chin. How uncomfortable. It's amazing that people these days still follow these old traditions. I remember seeing such pictures in my dad's old travel books. Super shot.
x
Irishkate Plus
5 33 91 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 12:47PM
Stunning image Dave - most interesting narrative - thought I'd found a cure for less than perfect neckline
but on further reading maybe not!
Your subject has a beautiful face - well done in getting the image.
KateGrinGrinGrin
19 Jan 2013 12:54PM
fine capture perfect lighting

GrahamGrinGrinGrin
19 Jan 2013 12:57PM
How interesting! I wonder if they take this off at night? What a wonderful expression she has given you.......Sandy
NDODS Plus
5 4.8k 125 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 12:59PM
And here is me thinking Botox was painful and unnecessary.

A wonderful insight into the culture and lives of these remarkable people.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
Tibetan 3 3 England
19 Jan 2013 1:11PM
Remarkable photo Dave, very well executed, good colours and detail, nice pose and expression, well done you, regards Leon.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
19 Jan 2013 1:27PM
Another good image, I have enjoyed your shots from Burma very much.

Myra
19 Jan 2013 1:39PM
Fantastic detailed image , Dave - well done........Grin
taggart Plus
11 46 12 United States
19 Jan 2013 1:44PM
I found your text so informative and interesting-- Do ALL the little girls wear the rings? I am wondering how they manage with life chores, etc.

A very well photographed woman in this portrait!
rayme330 Plus
4 17 1 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 2:04PM
Great shot and interesting narrative Dave.

Ray
rontear Plus
12 8 7 England
19 Jan 2013 2:33PM
Stunning image Dave, tribes what we don't know. Enlightening image Dave.
Ron.
carper123 Plus
4 742 8 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 3:10PM
Another wonderful image, Dave, superb character portrait, luv the detail and colours. Great description, you learn something everyday.
Well done.
Darryl. SmileSmile
19 Jan 2013 3:22PM
It must be most uncomfortable for them, but what a super portrait of this lady, Dave - excellent work Smile
Trev Smile
19 Jan 2013 3:37PM
An excellent capture and interesting write up
By eck! - what a neck!

PGrin
Joline Plus
9 27 52 United States
19 Jan 2013 4:14PM
The things we do in the name of beauty!
I'm glad that isn't the anglo tradition, it must be very cumbersome.
A fine portrait, and very interesting text.
Herge88 Plus
8 40 4 England
19 Jan 2013 4:42PM
A great portrait full of colour and character.

Best Matt
BIGRY1 Plus
4 3 7 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 5:07PM
Lovely portrait with loads of colour. Grin
Ryan
19 Jan 2013 5:25PM
Did they build Pyramids ? what a painful tradition.
A very proud, yet serene looking lady! She has a wonderful feel about her, would loved to have met her!
Shame we didn't meet you on the bridge, could have had a coffee together!
Maggie
19 Jan 2013 6:19PM
A stunning portrait , Dave. The lower viewpoint has emphasised the neck and air of dignity that others have referred to. A very thought provoking narrative.
Cliff
19 Jan 2013 7:05PM
Very interesting description - but what an amazing photograph - she looks beautiful - peaceful and serene. Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
EMJAYCEE Plus
6 9 10 England
19 Jan 2013 7:32PM
Your explanation to this excellent image is much appreciated.
Joan.
derekhansen Plus
7 210 24 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 7:35PM
I am so impressed with the sheer volume of high quality images you managed to take during this trip Dave. Interesting description as well.
Derek
fazzer Plus
6 50 7 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 8:06PM
great portrait Dave with stunning clarity on the eyes,thanks for the write up really interesting
jeremy
pamelajean Plus
10 949 1781 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 9:03PM
That's an impressive portrait, Dave, enhanced by the yellow and green of her headdress and, of course, those shiny neck rings.
helenlinda Plus
8 342 22 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2013 9:38PM
A superb capture of this lady Dave SmileSmile
I have very mixed feelings about the practise - this link gives further information
Helen
19 Jan 2013 10:06PM
Great portrait Dave of this neck adornment, seen this many years ago on a programme about tribes, Peter..
annettep38 Plus
4 217 36 Costa Rica
19 Jan 2013 11:51PM
excellent portrait, well lit and excellent eye contact.
A very nice portrait pose with lovely colours.
Well down Dave.
20 Jan 2013 1:34AM
A remarkable shot and write-up. Honestly the mind boggles - how can they live with all that around their necks.

Lavina
20 Jan 2013 8:09AM
Brilliant picture Dave, so much colour and character.

John Smile
20 Jan 2013 8:28AM
Fantastic shot Dave, the colour and detail is superb Smile
Jan
20 Jan 2013 10:00AM
An exceptional image Dave superbly captured, and fabulous information regarding this tradition ... Carol Grin
20 Jan 2013 10:30AM
Excellent portrait.

Andy
bobsblues 6 10 2 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2013 10:54AM
Superb capture Dave all comment's said above can't add any more mate.
Rob
20 Jan 2013 11:45AM
Another fantastic image Dave.....

I've read about the Karen "hill tribes" before.... love your informative narraqtive.

GarethSmile
ChiliMan Plus
9 135 17 Singapore
20 Jan 2013 12:10PM
First off, the light and clarity here are divine, Dave. Second, the eye contact and portraiture are simply exceptional.

Thanks so much for the info in the write-up. I'd always assumed the neck got lengthened!

Andrew
20 Jan 2013 12:32PM
Full of light and colours this is a superbly detailed portrait
Steve
20 Jan 2013 6:10PM
A fantastic and colourful portrait Dave
Jim
Frankly, I'm a little sorry for these women...
Good portrait, Dave!
Regards Valery
20 Jan 2013 9:33PM
The detail in this image is amazing lovely texture and tone fab
mike
JimV Plus
9 6 3 Canada
21 Jan 2013 7:18AM
I'm with Andrew in thinking their neck was actually stretched by the wearing of these rings, thanks for the write-up putting me right.
The lady has a wonderful serenity and dignity about her, and you have captured her so well Dave!
Rgds., Jim
She looks quite regal. A lovely, colourful image.
21 Jan 2013 6:28PM
Wonderful portrait amazing details Dave..Lin
Glostopcat Plus
9 255 2 England
22 Jan 2013 11:18PM
A terrific portrait Dave, those rings look rather painful to wear!
Chinga Plus
5 1 1 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2013 12:17PM
Fascinating culture.... Amazing portrait! IB
AnnChown Plus
6 197 1 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2013 7:31AM
I missed this one - it's a very fine portrait!
Ann
20 Aug 2013 12:08PM
Well Dave, so glad I came back to look at your PF. I could have missed this great shot you have captured in your worldly travels. Thank you for the interesting info on this tribe of women. I too thought it was more a thing with neck rings in some African Tribes. Great shot, and exposure. James Grin

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.