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Most Extreme Cultural Body Modifications

| 2015-01-21 | admin |


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The vegetarian festival in Phuket sees a great deal of devotional activities in the Chinese communities. Trance and heavy piercing are part of the tradition. This festival is held on the Southern Thai island of Phuket every year in October. Most impressive are the processions that are held almost every morning during the ten days of the festival. The processions feature devotees of the different city shrines which act as "mediums" for the Chinese Gods. Some of the mediums put sharp objects (mostly metal objects) through their cheeks as an act of devotion for themselves and for the whole community. Other rituals that are performed include walking barefoot over hot coals and ascending ladders with bladed rungs.All the mediums act involuntarily while in a trance, which allows them to endure the long piercing sessions. Although the wounds are said to be healed completely after the service, scars accumulate on their faces year after year.



Human tooth sharpening is the practice of manually sharpening the teeth, usually the front incisors. Historically, many cultures have practiced this form of body modification. In Bali, teeth were filed down because it was thought that the teeth represented anger, jealousy, and other similarly negative emotions. The teeth were also sharpened as a rite of passage for adolescents. Teeth filing was also used by Aborigines for spiritual reasons, similar to assorted Vietnamese and Sudanese tribes. In Mayan culture, the teeth were sharpened, and sometimes had designs carved into them, to distinguish those in the upper-classes. Many cultures would sharpen their teeth to imitate animals, such as the Wapare of inter-tropical Africa, who sharpened their teeth to imitate sharks, as well as kicking out some mandibular teeth during puberty.





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