Kayah State

Kayah State (Karenni State) is a smallest state of Myanmar. Situated in eastern Myanmar, it is bounded on the north by Shan State, on the east by Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province, and on the south and west by Kayin State. It lies approximately between 18° 30′ and 19° 55′ north latitude and between 94°40′ and 97° 93′ east longitude. The area is 11,670 km2 (4,510 sq mi). Its capital is Loikaw (also spelt Loi-kaw).

The estimated population in 1998 was approximately 207,357, according to UNICEF. It is inhabited primarily by the Karenni ethnic group, also known as Red Karen or Kayah, a Sino-Tibetan people.

Padaung Lady in Kayah State

Kayan or Padaung tribe of Kayah state is famous for wearing brass coils—not rings—around their necks by women.

A symbol of wealth, position and beauty, the coils can stretch their necks over a foot and weigh over 20 pounds. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the world record for longest neck—15¾ inches— belonged to a Padaung woman. The neck of this tribe getting longer as since they started worn for the ring at neck at the age of 8, legging at leg as well for protection from the wilds’ bite. The Ndebele in South Africa wear rings around their necks.