Kayaw are an ethnic group present in Kayah State. Nestled in a valley about 20 miles south of Loikaw, Ho-Ya is a village of about 300 residents belonging to the Kayaw ethnic group, a sub-group of Karen residing in Kayah State. While the Kayan Padaung of Kayah State are famous for the metal rings they wear around their necks, Kayaw Women elongate their earlobes with metal cylinders. Both Kayaw men and women wear long necklaces adorned with colorful beads and silver coins and pendants. Another main feature of the Kayaw women’s dress is wearing brass rings around their knees.
Kayaw are agriculturists in their homeland and cultivate rice in inundated fields but they also grow dry rice on higher alttitudes on steep mountain slopes with the slash-and-burn cultivation method. Beside rice they grow cotton, vegetables and fruits.