The Giraffe Women of Burma is as exotic as it gets. They start wearing a brass coil around their neck at five years old. As the years pass, the coils get longer and longer. It appears the women's necks also get longer but it is an illusion. Actually, the weight of the coils just pushes down the collar bone.
This whole thing looks uncomfortable and it's hard to understand why these people torture themselves so. The prevailing theories are that the coils:
- make them less desirable to slave traders
- make them look more feminine
- protects them from tiger attacks
- cultural identity
All of these reasons fall well short of reason. Especially the one about tiger attacks. Why have a neck if the tiger eats your face?
In 2006, some of the tribe's younger women woke up one morning and said "hey, we look like bobble heads" and "tying our shoes is way too hard with this friggin spring around my neck". Every year has seen more women retiring their slinkies. The sole exception is Thailand where locals began to wear them for tourist dollars.
Hey, that's a better reason than for protection from tiger attacks.