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Home > News Front Page > Record Breakers

World Beater

Mae Taeng, near Chiang Mai N.Thailand

August 1998 - by Adam Flinn
Measuring the hair

Long Hair Record smashed twice.

A long-standing record was broken twice the same day in a tribal settlement in Northern Thailand. Unwittingly a Hmong tribal village in Mae Taeng district Chiang Mai had been home to the new world beaters for almost nine decades Unbeknown to the winners, Mr Hook aged eighty five and his elder brother, of two years, their hair was lengths longer than the current record holder. The Guinness Book of World Records documented the hair length of a lady from Uijai, India as 4.17m (13 ft 10.5 ") in February 1994 in their latest annual.

The first measurement of Mr Yee, the elder brother was taken from the crown of the head to the tip of the mane (excluding stray strands). It was recorded a length of 4.85 meters, 27 cm longer than that of the existing record holder. His claim to the title was, however, short -lived as seconds later his younger brother Mr Hook, who is also the village Shaman, measured in at an astonishing 5.24 m - 1.73 m longer to become the undisputed world master.

When asked of his achievement and given a copy of the Record book Mr Hook expressed total amazement as to how anyone could find such accounts of interest.

Obviously contented with his humble hillside existence Mr Hook inquired "Why would anyone be interested in something someone that they have never met had supposedly done?" The family

Mr Hook had kept had not had a hair cut since his late teens. He became ill after a trim and a dream warned him against further snips. Shortly afterwards he became the village Shaman and, seven decades later, is still the villagers main source of spiritual wisdom and herbal remedies. He keeps the hair rolled up like a conical rope that rests on top of his head. It is held in place by a woollen hat. The hair is matted and washed one time per year.  "It keeps me warm" he told us.

His village is perched on a hilltop with awesome, endless panoramic views of the mountains. Income is derived by the sale of vegetables, mainly cabbage, to Thai low-landers. Electricity was only introduced to the village in 1995 and is still not used by most of the homes. The steep winding roads to the village are now partially paved but the last ten kilometers to the township are still of baked mud.

Hook has declined offers to visit TV and radio stations in a number of countries including the United States and England. In the past he had traveled to Japan and Korea to appear on various shows but remains totally unimpressed by the lure of glamour, fame and fortune.

The record was witnessed by a team of local reporters and an ex-British Counsel. AP/TV sent a camera crew to record the event which has since been syndicated, and shown, to international distributors, CNN and the BBC. Tape measures from Thailand and Switzerland were used to verify the length. The record was organized by Thaifocus and is set to appear in the next publication of the Guinness Book of Records.

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