Ethiopia’s Omo Valley | Africa’s Last Frontier, National Geographic Magazine: Women With Lip Plates

Many women in the village outside Tulgit in the Omo River Valley have lip plates although the tradition is dying and most often found in remote Ethiopian villages. The origin of the lip plate tradition is debated, but most likely it believed to be worn simply for adornment.  An early National Geographic Magazine article wrote that when explorers first saw tribal traditions, they believed that lip plates were a way for villagers to deform themselves so they wouldn’t get caught up in slaving raids, but that theory has been debunked.

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