Keyword Analysis & Research: why do mursi tribe wear wooden plates

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What do the Mursi lip plates represent?

The Mursi people live in southern Ethiopia between the Omo River and Mago River and have the tradition of wearing lip plates. When a young lady reaches puberty, her lips are cut, and a wooden plate inserted. This wooden plate represents an initiation into womanhood.

How do Mursi women get their lips cut?

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. The larger the clay plate, the more the woman is worth before she gets married.

Why do Mursi women wear plates on their backs?

Although very unique and part of their tradition, the Mursi women only wear the plates for a short time because they are so heavy and uncomfortable. It was said that this practice was first carried out to make them look ugly when Arab merchants continually raided their villages in search of slaves.

What is the Mursi tribe known for?

They are well known for their unique lip plates. Mursi are a Nilotic pastoralist ethnic group that inhabits southwestern Ethiopia. They principally reside in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, close to the border with South Sudan.

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