"Padaung" means "long neck" in the Shan anguage. The Padaungs ethnically belong to the larger Kayin race and their fixed abodes are to be found scattered in the area between the Kayah State. east of Taungoo and Southern Shan State. Some inhabit the plains in the basin of the Paunglaung River which are also part of the Kayah State east of Pyinmana.
The Padaung woman's traditional racial attire consists of a colorful. elegant turban with a short thick loose shift and leggings. She is also adorned with jewelry and ornaments of which the most outstanding and unusual are the thick rings of bronze around her neck. worn right up to beneath her chin. The rings may appear cumbersome. especially to the observer. but the Padaungs believe that beauty lies in a long neck. which makes it as graceful as a swan's. This is the traditional attire of Padaung women which they wear on ceremonial occasions. The tradition of wearing as many of these bronze rings round their necks is slowly being discarded but there are still a few who continue to follow this age-old custom.