and more. It is usually carried out as a fashion statement, and to show that the recipient is 'cool'. It cannot be referred to as 'modern', because King Tut got his ears stretched, as did Otzi the Iceman - way back in 3300 BC!
Many men have had their ears stretched to indicate their virility and sexual features, although this is not as much grounds today as it was a long time ago. Today, guys have their ears stretched to create a fashion statement, or even to follow the exemplory case of their favourite pop group. A large number of years ago, however, the primary purpose is believed to be to produce a statement, not of fashion, but of stature in the tribe.
Chiefs had the biggest stretching, while other man tribe members also used the size of their gauged ears to indicate their standing locally. For women, this was often a means of adornment but also of signifying their womanhood, having began menstruation.
Why do people gauge earlobes today, and what benefits do they believe they get by doing so? Here is some information on how various other communities regard earlobe gauging nowadays.
A. Women of the Mursi People
The Mursi tribe reside in Ethiopia, in the low valley of the Omo River. After puberty, and once they reach about 15 to 18 years, their family - generally their mothers - will pierce their bottom level lip (and sometimes also the very best) and insert a wooden peg. This peg will regularly changed with a larger one until it reaches around 2 in . (4-5 cm) when it will be replaced with a wooden or ceramic plate.
This continues until it is felt the plate is huge enough - from around 8 cm to over 22 cm (3 inches to over 9 inches in diameter). These young ladies may also have their ears pierced and stretched before gauge of their earlobes is known as acceptable for the tribe or community.
The young women which have undergone this ordeal are after that referred to as Bhansanai, as described earlier, and so are regarded with more respect of their community. The ear gauge discs and lip plugs should be worn at specific ceremonial events (weddings, serving food and others). The customized is no more obligatory, and young Mursi females will have the choice whether to follow the tradition or not.
B. Ear Gauging Among the Masai
Although ear gauging has been customary among men and women of the Masai tribe in Kenya, young men have been increasingly reluctant to adopt the practice. Many women, nevertheless, still regard gauged ears as offering her position within her tribe, and can submit to piercing at an early age, using thorns, sharpened sticks or even sharp animal bones.
Ear gauging can then be carried out the traditional way or the modern method, both being utilized today in Kenya. Ear gauging is common among model baju batik modernladies, although the gauge tends to be higher than that of additional African peoples. To women it is means of beautifying them, while males believe it offers them strength. The Mayans and Aztecs of Mexico and America also wore ear gauges made to give them permanent large-diameter hearing piercings.