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Body Decorations in South East Asia

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Emily Shope

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of Body Decorations in South East Asia

Indonesia History The Ceremony: Tooth filing (Metatah) is a historic process that has existed throughout South East Asia for a great number of years.

This process began before Hinduism was the dominant religion in Indonesia. Cross-Culturalization and other extenuating factors contributed to the integration of teeth filing into only as a rite of passage for many young Indonesian men and women, but also as a sign of beauty. Why? Tooth filing is a ceremony that introduces the individual(s) to the world. Similar to many other religious and cultural ceremonies that take place not only in the United States but around the globe.

In order to be introduced to the indonesian culture as an adult, or for many girls-- ready for marriage, the teeth filing ceremony must take place. A rite of passage - Isolation

- Ceremony and the Brahmin

- Supplies
It is believed that there are 6 forces of evil that reside within our bodies and in order for the person to live a happy and devoted life and for their soul to eventually be at peace, one must take part in the teeth filing ceremony.

The 6 Invisible Sources of Evil that are represented by the 6 front teeth are: Lust, Greed, Anger, insobriety, Confusion, and Jealousy. Teeth Blackening: Vietnam Who Blackens their teeth?
- Mostly women. A French survey done in 1938 found that 80% of all Vietnamese women have blackened teeth.

-The practice was discouraged by the French and suffered a decline to the point where it survives only in more traditional villages.

-Also blackened teeth are normally dismissed as being caused by chewing the betel nut by tour guides etc. today Why? Connections to their past

-The practice is a very old one that dates back to the Hung Emperors of 2879 B.C.E and became very popular during the Nguyen Dynasty

Buddhist Ideas
- Black was viewed to be a color representing strength
- Signified loyalty, honor, and discipline

Social Reasons:
- Considered to enhance a womans beauty.

- A girls teeth were blackend in order to show that she was ready for marriage.

-Blackened teeth tended to remain healthier longer as the blackening agents tended to protect the teeth leading to better overall health Other Reasons: How?
A dye made of red sticklac resin mixed with lemon juice or rice wine that was then put in contact with iron filings. The filings would react with the other parts of the mixture and give it a black metallic color.

After the dye was made it was then painted onto the teeth several times over the span of a week or so. During this time the girl getting her teeth blackened would have to eat and drink using only a straw as to allow the dye to adhere properly. Tattooing: Thailand Various designs are believed to:

Act as Protectors

Grant Prayers

Attract Luck

Bring Wealth Religious Significance: Temples, Tigers,
Buddhist deities

Decorative tattoos
are frowned upon.

No magic.

Placement is important. Traditional Designs: Ink tipped needle

Ink applied post punctures

Needle: almost a meter long Methods:
Sak Yant :

Traditional Designs

Religious Significance Tattooing in Thailand: 6 Invisible forces of evil: Tooth Filing: Ceremony Vague Origins, but some records date back thousands of years.

In Southeast Asia, records only date back hundreds of years. History Common Types: Traditions

Rights of passage into adulthood

Religious Beliefs

Lord Murugan

Communication with gods

Status Symbol

Wealth and adulthood Reasons For Piercing: Body Piercing: In South East Asia
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