Science Behind Lip Plates of Tribes: People of Ethiopia’s Mursi tribe show off their traditional lip plates


Lip plate is known as lip disc. It is made from clay or wood. Mursi tribe village people in south western Ethiopia, Africa are particularly using this lip plates. They are using this plates as a traditional way of life.

At first Ceramic disc is placed later larger disc. Lip plate is a form of body modification.
For a girl it is painful for first three months while inserting plates in their lip. Mursi village have good plant ointments to heal this wounds. They are wearing that lip plates at 15 to 16 years.

Mursi people beauty is determined by how large their lip plate is. A man who must marry a mursi girl has to be wealthy because her dowry usally falls between 40 cattle. Some girls design her lip plates by using tree sticks. Every lip plate is unique.

Clay plates were used to prevent capture by slave traders.
A 20 year girl Ataye Eligidagne has the largest lip plate in the world. It weighs 19.5cm. According to 2008 National Census, there are 7500 mursi village people living in Ethiopia. Thank you.

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