The Mentawai Tribe's Sharp Tooth Tradition, Unique and Extreme

Photo Source: Nationalgeographic.grid - Indonesia has various tribes with diverse and unique traditions, one of which is the Mentawai tribe who live in the Mentawai Islands Regency, West Sumatra Province.

In the Mentawai people, a woman's standard of beauty is measured by her long ears, body decorated with tattoos and sharp teeth.

To meet these three criteria, of course, you have to go through a process in order to achieve what you want, including sharpening your teeth.

For Mentawai women, sharp teeth signify beauty and maturity.

Therefore, this tradition is carried out by Mentawai women who are considered adults for the purpose of beauty.

In order to meet these beauty standards, women must go through the process of grinding and sharpening their teeth with traditional tools.

Photo Source: Genpi

Mentawai women who follow this tradition will carry out the sharpening process using tools made of wood or iron that have been sharpened until they are sharp.

In the process of sharpening teeth carried out by the traditional elders, women whose teeth are sharpened are willing to endure pain and aches.

To endure the pain and aches, usually women who go through this procession bite a green banana.

To scrape 1 tooth takes approximately 30 minutes. There are 23 Mentawai women's teeth that must be scraped off. The finished sharpened teeth will look like a triangular shape.

The Mentawai people believe that sharp teeth indicate that a woman is mature, more beautiful and able to attract men's attention.

Along with the times and personal decisions not to change the shape of the teeth, now this somewhat extreme tradition has begun to be abandoned.

Apart from that, the process which is painful and painful because there is no anesthesia during the procession is also a consideration for many Mentawai women not to do this tradition. (*)

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