Mountain Blossoms

Longneck girlLong Neck Girl © Kieron Nelson posted with kind permission.

This life of ours would not cause you sorrow
if you thought of it as like
the mountain cherry blossoms
which bloom and fade in a day.


~Japanese Female poet, trans. Kenneth Rexroth~


"Burden Of Beauty" (Thailand/Myanmar)
The Padaung, or the Longnecked Karen, are a minority group within the Karen tribe - one of the largest hill tribe groups in Southeast Asia. However, the Padaung themselves are mainly located within the Kayah State of Myanmar. The custom of lengthening the neck, using continuous brass coils; although they appear to be individual rings can weigh up to 22kg. The coils can lengthen the appearance of the neck by as much as 30 cm.
The weight of the solid brass rings pushes down on the collarbone and xrays have shown it also collapses the lungs giving the impression of a longer neck. There are numerous theories as to the origin of the rings. One reason was to protect the neck from tiger attacks, another, was to deform the neck so that they would not be desirable as concubines for the Burmese court. The main reason given is that it was used as a means of enhancing their beauty.

~Excerpted from Vanishing Cultures Photography by Kieron Nelson.


  1. Strange what one does for beauty in every culture. She needn't worry--already so lovely. But ephemeral as a cherry blossom. I like the message you've combined here, noelle.

  2. Beautiful verse from the Japanese female poet MURASAKI SHIKIBU (974-1014). WOW!! ..and she was considered as one of the greatest writers of Japanese history!! She is also the author of the earliest known novel in human history!! How much more awesome can this get!! Her words are so simple and so much of profound insight. Amazing!! her intellect and depth of knowledge!! I feel so happy to have stumbled upon your blog Noelle for you always have something astounding to share!! You deserve a standing ovation for this one!!
    Noelle, did you notice the calm on the faces of the Japanese people even in the midst of the recent catastrophe; it is no wonder, if they have grown up on such works of literature. Written centuries ago and so apt to situations today!!
    Thank you dearest Noelle
    with lots of love, hugs and mawahs!! :)

  3. I stopped by. I am speechless. I barely get to think about yesterday's post when another subject, of usually equal or more intrigue, shows up here. You are a thought provoking princess yourself! I really like this ancient poet. Funny, I watched Kung Fu Panda yesterday, (the kids were around, but I wanted to watch it, for the 2nd time). The teachings of the old one were so pertainant and seemingly in step with the teachings I have received over the years from the Native Elders. We are certainly all related.

    Peace and Prayers to all affected in Japan and around thew world.

  4. thank you noelle....
    welcome beauty, spring, renewal and loving each day for the flower it is.

  5. Thank you, Joe. so very good to hear from you. I am glad that you enjoyed this.
    Peace and Light,


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