The Mursi Tribe: The Beauty Enhancement Practice of Lip Plates

The Mursi Tribe: The Beauty Enhancement Practice of Lip Plates

The Mursi Tribe: The Beauty Enhancement Practice of Lip Plates

Women of the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia cut their lips and place clay discs to enhance beauty.The Mursi Tribe: The Beauty Enhancement Practice of Lip Plates.

The Fascinating Beauty Rituals of the Mursi Tribe in Ethiopia

The Mursi tribe is one of the many tribes in Africa that has a distinct identity. Located in the valley of Oman, on the border of southern Ethiopia and Sudan, the Mursi tribe has a population of about 10 thousand people. They are known for their ancient traditional dress and customs that they still retain to this day.

One of the most striking customs of the Mursi tribe is the practice of lip plates among their women. This practice involves cutting the lower lip and inserting a large clay or wooden sheet or disc. Gradually, as the cut portion grows, so does the size of the disc. The social status of women often depends on the size of this disc.

Mursi girls have their lower lips cut off after they reach the age of 15 or 16. A hole of approximately 4 cm diameter is made, and a wooden block is placed in it. This piece of wood is not removed until the wound is dry. When the wound dries up, the piece is taken out, and another disc made of wood or clay is placed. This painful process continues for several months.

These lip plates are also of different types. Some have unique designs drawn in them, while others have various holes. Women wear these ornaments on their lips with pride, especially during auspicious occasions like marriage and cow milking.

But why do the Mursi women practice lip plates? One of the most common beliefs is that women's lips are a symbol of beauty. When women serve food to their husbands, they wear this ornament on their lips to show their commitment to their husbands. However, when the husband dies, the women of the Mursi tribe leave this part of the lips open.

Women who cut their lips and place clay discs to enhance their beauty

Aside from being a symbol of beauty, lip plates also have another important meaning. It is one of the biggest symbols of Mursi identity. The Mursi tribe is somewhat more violent than other tribes. Even if someone enters their territory without permission, they would even kill that person. As a result, tourists were not allowed to enter these tribal areas earlier. But even if they had such behavior until a few decades ago, that idea is changing a bit. European culture is also influencing the tribes.

The practice of lip plates has been a subject of controversy among outsiders. Some view it as a form of mutilation and a violation of human rights. However, for the Mursi tribe, it is a symbol of beauty and identity. It is part of their culture and tradition that they have preserved for generations.

The Mursi tribe is unique in its customs and traditions, and their beauty rituals are just one example of this. Despite being painful and often misunderstood by outsiders, these rituals hold significant cultural importance for the tribe. As the world changes, it will be interesting to see how these traditions evolve over time while still preserving the identity of the Mursi people.

In conclusion, the Mursi tribe's practice of lip plates is a unique and fascinating aspect of their culture. It may be painful and controversial to outsiders, but it is an essential part of their identity as a tribe. As we continue to learn about different cultures and traditions around the world, we must always approach them with respect and an open mind.

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