The Kayan are a sub-group of Red Karen (Karenni people), Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Myanmar (Burma). The Kayan consists of the following groups: Kayan Lahwi (also called Padaung), Kayan Ka Khaung (Gekho), Kayan Lahta, Kayan Ka Ngan. Kayan Gebar, Kayan Kakhi and, sometimes, Bwe people (Kayaw).
Padaung (Yan Pa Doung) is a Shan term for the Kayan Lahwi (the group in which women wear the brass neck coils). The Kayan residents in Mae Hong Son Province in Northern Thailand refer to themselves as Kayan and object to being called Padaung. In The Hardy Padaungs (1967) Khin Maung Nyunt, one of the first authors to use the term “Kayan”, says that the Padaung prefer to be called Kayan. On the other hand, Pascal Khoo Thwe calls his people Padaung in his 2002 memoir, From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey.