This neck ring represents a fraction of the wide repertoire of silver jewellery made, worn and exchanged by highland communities in northern Thailand, which include the Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Lisu and Hmong. Large neck rings were worn in tiered sets or with a chain and pendant known as a ‘soul lock'. 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.