The people of Huay Pu Keng are Karenni refugees who have fled from Burma (Myanmar). The villagers of Huay Pu Keng belong almost exclusively to one of two Karenni sub-groups, the Kayan and the Kayaw.

The Kayaw, commonly referred to as the long ears or big-ears are a separate tribe from the Kayan with their own language and traditions.

The majority of the village inhabitants are Kayan. The ring wearing Kayan women have been called by many names padaung / padong, long necks or more crudely giraffe women, but they refer to themselves as Kayan. There are four sub-groups of Kayan distinguished by different traditional dress only one of which wears rings around the neck.


In their own words:

Kayan describe their lives in their own words.

Ma Lo

Ma Lo, now a wife and mother fled from her home in Burma when she was just five. Here in her autobiography she descibes the difficulties of life as both a refugee and an attraction.


Zember, perhaps the best known of all the Kayan in Thailand's long neck villages, has featured in tourist publicity, articles and news reports for years. Now, exclusive to she decribes how she was denied resettlement and why she is now desperate to leave Thailand.

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