Lip Disc, Ethiopia

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The discs are a tradition dating back further than 1896, and a way of attracting a husband amongst the the Surma woman of the lower Omo Rover valley in Ethiopia.

There is evidence of woman wearing the discs in this region from 1896. The procedure, which also involves knocking out the bottom two teeth, is done at the age of 15-18.

In recent times, the Ethiopian government has taken measures to ban the discs, and the frequency amongst the younger generations is reportedly dwindling.

The discs carry a multifaceted significance. They are intended to attract a husband, as well as a dowry for the family of the wife, who are given a contingent  of cattle respective to the size of the disc.

But they are also a form of self-expression.

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