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Checkout Lips Stretching tradition of Surma tribe where lip plate is inserted into the mouth

The people of Surma tribe are found in southern Sudan as well as southwestern Ethiopia. During teenage years, females undergo the lip stretching procedure which involves removing their lower teeth to accommodate a lip plate; the lip plate is increased in size yearly until it is an astounding size

Some of the men do this similar exercise with their ears. They also indoctrinate their warriors known as ‘stick fighters’ by inflicting scars on them, the belief is that the more scars they have, the more attractive they are to female members of the tribe.

Among the Surma tribe people of Ethiopia and South Sudan, this is an extremely popular tradition. A rounded plate is fitted inside the lips of 15-16 year old girls by removing their lower teeth. The plates are replaced by bigger ones as the lip enlarges. Some of the men do this practice with their ears. These plates give the people of this tribe a fierce look.

Women of the Surma tribe may have their lips cut at the age of 15 or 16 after which a small clay plate is then inserted into the lip. Through the years, larger plates are inserted into the lip causing it to stretch; the larger the clay plate, the more the woman is worth before she gets married. Although very unique and part of their tradition, the Surma women only wear the plates for a short time because they are so heavy and uncomfortable

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Ethiopia South Sudan Sudan Surma


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