The Ancient Ritual of Neck Elongation, Described

Humans have always practiced many body modifications such as skull flattening, tattooing, piercings, and foot binding all over the world. This is where we should be familiar with “neck elongation”, which is called one of the oldest forms of body modification. This sort of body modification asks to use neck rings to elongate the neck. That’s very weird but true. While this process causes extreme pain, it can be difficult to understand why anyone would like to go through it. Let us try to know more about the neck elongation ritual here:

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1 General introduction

It is natural to consider why anyone goes through such a process that stretches the neck and causes pain. Some cultures have a rich history of neck elongation practices. It has been found that the reasons why people choose to lengthen their necks are related to ritual. However, some people undergo this procedure solely for cosmetic procedures. Though it looks strange, it can’t be said that it is unusual than inking someone’s body with a needle or piercing one’s ear.

Neck elongation

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2One of the oldest forms of body modification- “neck elongation”

Body modification is originally a personal choice, however, in some parts of the world, the practice of neck elongation comes with great importance. Neck elongation has been a ritual in Southeast Asia for more than a thousand years. Apart from the rich history, many historians accept it from the 11th century itself. The rings worn by people were a sign of wealth in the past. But folks prefer to wear the same rings today to continue their antique ritual.

One of the oldest forms of body modification

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3Mysterious origins of Neck elongation

In South-East Asia, historians continue to accept the practice of using neck rings to the 11th century. In contrast, some historians claim that neck elongation rings are worn as a symbol in the Southeast Asian Padaung tribes. Others believe that women started following this practice to become less attractive to slave dealers. Tribal mythology states that trying neck rings began as a protection against tiger attacks. However, no one found a solid reason why they did it.

Mysterious origins of Neck elongation

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4Africa’s Ndebele tribe

If you know a little about the Ndebele tribe of Africa, the women of this tribe wear brass and copper rings around their neck. In addition to the neck, they wear rings around their arms and legs. The husbands of the women give them these rings as a symbol of loyalty. Once wearing rings, they could only be removed after the death of women. Meanwhile, modern women do not wear them permanently.

Africa’s Ndebele tribe

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5Girls can start wearing their rings as Young as Five

The girls in the Padaung tribe and the Karen tribe are fitted with their first rings at the age of 5. Neck elongation usually involves a ring-like collar around one’s neck. Wearing these rings for the first time is not always an easy thing, though. The coils are usually made of brass, starting at around four and a half pounds, and then extra coils are added over time. In a few cases, the worn coils may be completely replaced so that heavier coils can be added.

Girls can start wearing their rings as Young as Five

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