The Karen hill tribe in Thailand are the largest ethnic minority group, with an estimated population of around 1,000,000. They originated from Tibet, moving south to Myanmar and northern Thailand. Today, the Karen hill tribe live in proximity to areas alongside the Thai-Myanmar border such as; Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and some in central Thailand.
The Karen hill tribes of Thailand (also known as the ‘Kariang/Gariang’ or ‘Kayin’) are known as ‘Pakanyor.’ Karens are divided into four groups: Sgaw (White Karen), Po (Red Karen), Pa-O, and Kayah. Each sub-group has its own language, customs, and clothing. The languages are extremely dissimilar and incomprehensible to one another, and each has its own dialect.
The Karen Long Neck tribe, often known as the ‘giraffe women,’ is notable for wearing long brass coils around their necks. Their ethnological name is ‘Kayan Lawhi,’ and they are a sub-group of the Red Karen. They are originally from Myanmar’s Kayah and Shan states. Because of ethnic and political strife in Burma, many people fled to Thailand and applied for refugee status. That is how Thailand’s Karen Long Neck communities came to be.
Sources from the internet – The Karen Long Neck Tribes of Thailand.
Mae Hong Son has two Karen Tribes Villages – The Huay Pu Keng Kayan Village and the Long Neck Village Market. Both are in Pha Bong. The Long Neck Village Market is much easier to access than the Kayan Village. So, we decided to visit the easiest one, to get some stuff as memories. Pictures taken in 2019.
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