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Teeth Chiseling, Indonesian Tribal Custom, Thought To Maintain Women's Beauty (VIDEO)


First Posted: 04/29/11 01:49 PM ET Updated: 06/29/11 06:12 AM ET

From tight corsets to neck rings, women have been undergoing rigid procedures to maintain their culture's standards of beauty for centuries.

As National Geographic reports, a tribe of people in Indonesia believes women are more beautiful if they have their teeth chiseled into sharp, narrow points. In the following clip, the wife of a Mantawaian village chief prepares to undergo the painful surgery, which is also said to maintain the balance between body and soul. Though she avoided the ritual as a teen, Pilongi says she now feels compelled to have her teeth filed, given her husband's official status in the village.

"I don't know what to expect," she says. "But when they do it, I will just let them sharpen my teeth. I'm not worried about the pain. If I think about that, I won't get more beauty."

Following the procedure -- performed with crude instruments and without anesthetic -- Pilongi bites on green bananas to dull the pain, before showing off her new smile. "Now that my teeth are sharp, I look more beautiful for my husband, so he won't leave me," she says proudly.

Watch the full video below:

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |  Report Corrections