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.
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)
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.
The size of the peg is gradually increased until he is wearing a lip plate. When these plates are removed, the lip hangs down like a rope. 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.
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.
One of the most unusual, most aggressive tribe in the world is tribe Mursi living in a hard region of Ethiopia. “It’s better to die than live without killing” is the motto of Mursi men who in fact are all warriors.
Women of the Mursi tribe may have their lips cut at the age of 15 or 16. A small clay plate is then inserted into the lip. Through the years, larger plates are inserted into the lip causing it to stretch. It is said that the clay plates were originally used to prevent capture by slave traders.
The Maasai also stretch their earlobes using stone, wood, and bones. Traditionally, both men and women stretched their earlobes, because long, stretched lobes were seen as a symbol of wisdom and respect.
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.