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TERRIBLE TRADITIONS – Teeth Chiseling

Teeth Chiseling

The ideals of beauty for the Mantawaian people, living in the remote western Sumatran archipelago, go far beyond the skin. They go through a number of rituals, such as decorative tattoos and teeth chiseling, in order to maintain a balance between the body and the soul.

 

Teeth Chiseling 1
Teeth Chiseling

 

Chiseled smile
Chiseled smile

The tribe believes that, chiseled and pointed teeth make them attractive to the opposite sex. Most of the women of the tribe grind and file their teeth to get them sharpen. This is, however, an extremely painful procedure, done by using a hammer and a chisel, without using any anesthetics. The chisel is sharpened in preparation for the event, since a sharp chisel causes less pain and gets the job done faster as well.

 

 Chiseled Beauty
Chiseled Beauty

The pain is just the price paid for beauty in this Mentawai Tribe tradition. Women in some Indonesian rural communities are considered extremely beautiful after they have undergone such a treatment.

Teeth Chiseling 2

 

Dibyendu Banerjee
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.

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