Please read this!
An estimated 40,000 tourists per year pay between $8-16 to stop by these hill tribe villages to gaze upon the women’s unusual appearance and take pictures. Unfortunately, the entry fee is rarely dispensed to the villagers directly. Instead, neck-ring-wearing-women sell trinkets, crafts and photo-ops, essentially working in a live-in gift shop. Residents receive an allowance of food and toiletries and profit from handicraft sales, and women wearing brass rings earn an extra salary. Village owners decrease wages if women discuss their plight with visitors or use anything modern, like cell phones or computers.
While some say the villages give Kayans a paid opportunity to retain their culture, others condemn this arrangement for exploiting stateless women and children in exchange for tourist dollars.
▪ Make sure your money benefits the village directly instead of third party companies. If you’re not sure, insist you give money to the chief of the village or support the women by purchasing their handicrafts.
▪ Don’t just stop by for a photo shoot. Try to extend your stay to learn about the people and hear their stories.
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