This neck ring represents a fraction of the wide repertoire of silver jewellery made, worn and exchanged by nomadic highland communities that include the Hmong, Yao, Lahu, Akha, Karen and Yao. Large neck rings were worn in tiered sets or with a chain and pendant known as a ‘soul lock'. This type is worn particularly by the Hmong, Yao, Lahu and Akha.Silver jewellery was a way of investing a family’s wealth to be passed down as heirlooms. It is also regarded as having protective properties. Young children wear a silver neck ring with a ‘soul lock’ to protect them against illness. The pendant or ‘soul lock’ is believed to prevent the soul from leaving the body. The Karen, Akha, Lisu, Lahu, Hmong, and Yao are six ethnic minority groups who migrated into Northern Thailand from Burma, Laos and Vietnam during the 18th and 19th centuries.