We spotted this one room school house while touring the Karen Hill Tribe village near Chiang Mai. When Kelly noticed it was a school, her eyes lit up and she just had to see how they do things in Thailand. The school was a mixture of many elementary grades all taught together.
The teacher was very nice and allowed Kelly to observe and interact with the students for about a half hour.
Before we left, the children sang a couple of traditional Thai songs to us.
The story has it that long ago, the villagers were being attacked by tigers, so in order to protect their women, the tribal leaders began wrapping their necks with metal rings to prevent bites. They start the girls at an early age, and add rings each year as the child grows.
The original rings were made of gold, but now they are made from solid brass, not tubing so they are extremely heavy and can weigh up to 20 lbs. When they reach adulthood, it looks like their necks have been stretched several inches. In reality, their necks aren't stretched so much as their collar bones and ribs are pushed down by the added weight. Once the rings are put on, they are only taken off every few years to add additional ones. At that point they become necessary because their neck muscles can no longer function properly.
This woman has quite a few rings but is short of the tribal record of 28 rings.