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Article: Neck ring

Neck ring

Neck Rings and Illusion of Elongation

  • Neck rings are worn in some African and Asian cultures to create the illusion of an elongated neck.
  • The weight of the rings twists the collarbone and upper ribs, causing the appearance of a longer neck.
  • The vertebrae do not actually elongate, but the space between them may increase.
  • Girls start wearing neck rings before puberty to allow their bodies to adjust.
  • These coils can weigh up to 11 pounds (5kg).

Role of Tourism

  • Tourism in Myanmar encourages the use of neck rings as they are a popular attraction.
  • Neck rings become a cultural display for tourists visiting the region.


  • Kayan Lahwi women of the Kayan people start wearing neck coils from a young age.
  • The length of the coil gradually increases, reaching up to twenty turns.
  • The weight of the coils deforms the clavicles, creating the impression of a longer neck.
  • Small Kayan girls wear brass collars from age two to five to slowly deform the collarbone and upper ribs.
  • The alternative, an accelerated process at around age twelve, is painful.


  • The South Ndebele people of Africa wear neck rings as part of their traditional dress.
  • Only married women are allowed to wear the rings.
  • The rings, called 'dzilla,' are made of copper or brass and stacked in multiples of three.
  • Metal rings are also worn on other parts of the body, not just the neck.
  • The rings are given to a wife by her husband and are not removed until the husband's death.

Related Concepts

  • Foot binding
  • Genital cutting (disambiguation)
  • Genital modification and mutilation
  • Body modification
  • Stretching (body piercing)
  • Body piercing

Neck ring Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph

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