The custom of wearing a lip plate is linked to the female’s fertility and eligibility for marriage. When a Mursi girl reaches puberty (around age 15 to 16) she will have her lip cut by a female member of the tribe and a small wooden stick is inserted.
The lip plate carries a number of meanings. Firstly, it’s a symbol of great beauty. Secondly, it marks a commitment to the husband because it is worn with great pride when serving him food. If the husband dies, the lip plate is removed since a woman’s external beauty is said to fade after his death.
Yes! Its absolutely hurt when cutting and piercing the lip, but moderately painful after the healing of the wound or during wearing the plate because lip will take elasticity. Once the cut is made, a stick is inserted to enlarge the hole, and it hurts over time, and as the lip will take elasticity.
There are no major health issues that come from stretching one’s lip out so much. There is a major side effect to wearing one though. Once the lip is stretched, it will never shrink. So as well as being considered a form of body art, it is also a way of disfiguring the body.
In Africa, more precisely Ethiopia and tribes of the Mursi, Chai and Tirma, lip stretching or lip – plates (dhebi a tugoin) is seen as beautiful, denoting female maturity. Researchers claim that the lip plate worn by Mursi women is best seen as an expression of social adulthood and reproductive potential.
A tribe residing in South Ethiopia and Sudan border live far away from the outside world and often kill people. The people belonging to Mursi tribe live in South Ethiopia and Oman Valley of Sudan border.
Although he didn’t say one line in the entire movie as the River Tribe Elder, Ivorian actor Isaach de Bankolé had one of the most distinctive appearances in Black Panther, wearing a flashy turquoise suit and traditional lip plate to accompany it.
It was a lesson to be learned! We were not the only farangi in the village so we were not attacked fiercely by the Mursi tribe when we got off the car; they are known to be very aggressive due to the drinking problems. And almost all the man has in possession a Kalashnikov; for the animals of course!
“In their culture, they typically remove their bottom teeth so that the lip plate can fit in their mouth. Then, their lower lip is pierced and stretched around the lip plate.” To achieve the look, but ensure that it was temporary for actors, Joel’s crew created their own way of doing it.
Tribes that are known for their traditional lip plates or labrets include: The Mursi and Surma (Suri) women of Ethiopia. The Sara women of Chad (ceased wearing plates in the 1920s) The Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique (ceased wearing plates several decades ago)