Sticking their necks out for tourists

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In Thailand, Burmese women from the Padaung tribe don’t need the Thai equivalent of a green card; they can stay in the country and even get paid if they just shackle their necks in rigid brass coils that stay on for life. Apparently tourists really like the exotic look the coils give these “long-neck women,” so tour-boat operators pay the women and girls — some as young as five — a modest monthly salary to wear them, reports the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

By pushing down on the collarbone and up against the chin, the coils elongate the neck. But the muscles soon deteriorate so that, if the coils were ever removed, the neck would collapse.

Once a tribal tradition, wearing neck coils is now just a job, but one that mothers encourage their daughters to consider, as it offers them “a passport to a better way of life,” the HERALD reports.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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