One of the traditional rituals from the tribal ranges of Amazonia is the Lip Plate ritual. Young black women in Africa had this custom of labret, which means the piercing of the body parts for ornaments. Wearing ornaments has been always increased attractive appearances. The pierces on noses, ears and other parts of the body have been a normal custom.
The lip plate piercing has been popular among the Mursi and Surma women of Ethiopia. It has been a sign of beauty as a lip ornament, apart from it, other interesting facts about lip plate piercing are as follows:
The process starts at 15 years
The ritual ore tradition starts at the age of a teenager when she is 15 years old and continues till the maximum stretches reach. The piercing continues for months from a small coin to the maximum size that is possible for the lips. Mostly starts from the small age the lips skin layers loosen with a hole that is enlarged and hung. It is a sign of being a female member of their tribe. Till the age of marriage, the lip’s plate should be properly fitting in the lips.
Mark of an engagement or married
So, if a woman wears a lip plate it is not only a sign of the relevant culture and tribe. It acts as a pride for the married women, that attracts their men or husbands. A gesture of being engaged and beloved of their men are also explained by the ornamenting plates. Apart from its ear-rings, nose pierces with round small plates are worn by the tribal African women.
Though it is one of the popular and necessary rituals of the Suri tribes it is slowly being abandoned by the African women. This is the most painful practice that was earnestly carried by the tribal women for a partner. In modern times after observing the pain and sufferings, it is no longer followed by the women. Today the meaning of beauty and attracting their men has differed and so the piercing and painful stretching of the lower lips.
Sign of Self-esteem
Piercing the lower lip is no doubt one of the painful rituals that a girl has to bear from a teenager. And, so it is considered as the self-esteem if they have a lip plate, also a sign of strength. It shows the pride or eligibility as growing up African tribal women. Larger the plate the greater the esteem!
Wooden Lip Plate designed
The lip plates or plugs are wooden made which is not at all light in weight. The ornament is worn has various creative and innovative designs on the wooden plate. Clay made round shaped lip plates are also worn but it is as heavier as wood or more.
Cutting or piercing of the lips is carried out mostly by their mother. The lip plate or dhebi-a-tugoin is then slowly put on their lips. In a few cases, the upper lip piercing is also carried out in their customs or rituals. They are the prime attraction for the outsiders but diminishing with the upcoming days.