Watch with your own eyes women who cut their teeth, stretch their ears, and get face tattoos to beautify themselves

[Tin Kon Tum] – That is an extremely impressive beauty method of B’rau ethnic women, Dak Me village, Bo Y commune, Ngoc Hoi district, Kon Tum province.

In the years of the 20th century, the B’rau people in Bo Y commune chose a very unusual way of beautifying themselves. Any young woman about to go to her husband’s house, the first thing they do is use sharp thorns to pierce holes in their ears, then gradually expand this hole, as big as possible.


What they wear in their ears are not earrings made of gold, silver, or sparkling metal, but the tusks of adult elephants, caught by the village and sawed off to wear in their ears.

Each earlobe hole is about 10 cm in diameter.  Photo: Ngoc Linh In the past, they wore ivory tips, but now they wear bamboo and plastic tubes (picture of Mrs. Nang).  Photo: Ngoc Linh

Elephant tusks were sold for money to drink, and bamboo pipes were replaced.

After beautifying their ears, they started using stones to shorten their teeth. This job is very important for both sons and daughters in every family, because it represents the “peak” of filial piety between children and parents. After the teeth have been sawed, that person has proven that he is not a greedy eater, eating in moderation and not eating all of his parents’ portion.

In addition, the short sawed teeth also show that its owner has reached the age where he must do all the work of a B’rau person: from going to the fields to grow rice and growing cassava to going to the forest to hunt elephants and pull wood.

The B’rau people also have another way of beautifying themselves: tattooing strange shapes around their faces, depending on their preferences. It can be simply plus signs, or parallel lines…

These tattoos not only have the meaning of beautifying every girl and boy in the village but are also a symbol of wealth and prosperity. That’s why only the rich people in the village can have their faces tattooed; Poor people are not allowed to get tattoos.

The tattoos on Ms. Nang’s face have faded

Currently, these interesting customary laws of the B’rau people have been lost. In Dak Me village, there are only more than 10 elderly people over 80 years old with holes in their ears about 10 cm in diameter. They sold the ivory heads intended for jewelry for tens of thousands… to buy wine. Instead, there are bamboo tubes cut into pieces, or plastic bottle caps that fit into the ear.

In the village, there are only two women who lived in an old rich family and had their faces tattooed. They are Ms. Nang Nang (88 years old) and Ms. Y Bu (101 years old).


Although Mr. Y Bu is over 100 years old, the tattoos are still very clear on his face

Ms. Nang confided: “My husband and I have had our faces tattooed since we first got married. I tattoo for beauty, I just tattoo whatever I like. My husband passed away nearly ten years ago.”

Thien Thu