The Beauty of Africa
San, healing dance – The San of South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Namibia
San, healing dance – The San of South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Namibia are, according to some researchers, the world's oldest people. Their hunter-gatherer culture stretches back tens of thousands of years, and integral to it is the trance dance, also known as the healing dance. Historically an all-night affair, the practice brings the whole community together, led by healers and elders dancing around a fire, chanting and breathing deeply until they induce a trance state. It offers the chance to commune with ancestral spirits of the departed and for healers, cure sickness within
Mursi lip plates
Mursi, lip plates – Circular lip plates called dhebi a tugion are worn by some Mursi women near Jinka in Ethiopia's Omo Valley. They are one of the few tribes that continue the practice in East Africa, but archaeologists have discovered lip plates in the region stretching back 30,000 years. It's a body modification that people find beautiful. It's also very striking and a distinctive way of marking your difference from other people around you.
The bottom lip is pierced with a wooden peg inserted, which is replaced with larger pegs thereafter. Once the hole is big enough the first of a succession of ornamental ceramic saucers are inserted, stretching it over a period of years -- one example from the neighboring Surma tribe measured 19.5cm wide.
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