Thursday, March 15, 2012

Teeth Filing

Human teeth sharpening is a practice that comprises of filing the front and incisor teeth, until rather pointy.  The filing of teeth is a popular tradition around the world, in cultures, such as: Vietnam, Aborigines in Australia, ancient China, multiple tribes in Africa, and in Bali.
In Bali, teeth filing is especially curious, because it is considered a celebration and a rite of passage into adolescence.  Most popularly held in the summertime, the ceremony is meant to represent the rid of invisible forces of evil, because in it was thought that teeth represented jealously, anger and other negative emotions.  And in filing them, making them smaller and hence making those negative emotions smaller and diminished.  Therefore, this erase of evil makes one more physically and spiritually more attractive.
This has been a tradition in Bali for more than 2000 years.  The filing is done by the Sangging, who is a member of the highest caste, the Branhim (priests).  The ceremony is a day long process, which consists of purifying the tools used (a small file, hammer and carver) that are supplied by the family and the neighbors come and leave gifts for the child.  The child is isolated indoors up until the ceremony, which is thought to keep them pure and innocent, for they are still considered immature.
When the filing is completed, it has magically transformed the young child to a beautiful adult.

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of this practice before, but it's cool to learn others' way of life. Though teeth filing is extremely different from American ideals of what ones teeth should look like, I respect the cultural and religous meaning behind it.

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