Indonesia and the Women of the Mentawai Tribe

How far can society go towards there extreme perception of beauty within their

culture. In most popular cultures teeth whiting/bleaching has become one of the

new trends towards preserving youth and staying attractive. In other parts of

the world it is possible to witness the total opposite. What may be thought of as

teeth mutalation to some observers, to those within the culture teeth sharpening

is attractive. Teeth Sharpening is practiced and performed in Indonesia, mostly

on the Women of the Mentawai Tribe. Their perception on beautiful teeth goes

as far as sharpening them with nothing more than a sharp rock and a piece of

wood, so that when all maxillary and mandibular anterior teeth are sharpened

they resemble the rows of teeth in a sharks mouth. Teeth play a major role in

communication and how they are precieved as by being beautiful depends on the

the society and the culture that raised them.

5 Responses to Indonesia and the Women of the Mentawai Tribe

  1. Hi, since sharpening their teeth was their culture, I was wondering how long did their teeth last if there is no enamel left and the dentint takes all the beating when food enters in ?

    • Their teeth will last as long as yours or mine would because even though they are sharpening their teeth and chiseling away at some of their enamel, there has to be some enamel left for others to consider beauty. Also allows them to eat food.

  2. It’s amazing that those people thought sharpening their teeth as being attractive. I can’t even imagine the pain they went through since they probably weren’t technologically advanced. Thanks for the information and nice job on the abstract

  3. Wonderful site. A lot of helpful information here. I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your sweat!

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