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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Extended Ear-Lobes

Have you heard or seen women with long ear lobes? Believe it or not I used to have long ear lobes until I was 16 years old. Since time immemorial most of Sarawak’s indigenous groups have maintained this practice of wearing extended ear-lobes as a symbol of personal beauty. The longer a lady’s ear-lobes were, the prettier she looked! At an early age a girl would have both her ear-lobes pierced. After the initial cuts had healed a brass ring would be attached through both ear-lobes. Over time several more rings would be added in equal quantity to both ear-lobes. In time the weight of these objects would cause ear-lobes to gradually extend downwards until the brass rings rested just below the collar bone. Among the older women their ear-lobes would be even more extended with the brass rings resting just above their breasts.
In a way it is sad to see the present generation of ladies doing away with this age-old practice of body ornamentation. To the uninitiated the practice of piercing one’s ear-lobes for beauty’s sake would be regarded as a form of body mutilation but it must be seen in its proper perspective. People of different cultures practice different ways of beautifying themselves. What might be “acceptable” to one culture might be anathema to another. As the saying goes, people practice their culture in a way that best suits them. The younger generation does not follow this tradition anymore and it is considered a thing of the past now. Our young ladies nowadays feel embarrassed wearing earring on extended ear-lobes and they are voluntarily giving up this practice as it appears impractical in today’s modern setting.

Above is a picture of me with extended ear-lobes taken when I was in Standard Three. Back in those days my mother would help me shine the brass rings with “Brasso” to keep them shining all the time.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

were you the one in green dress? cool man!!

Jeanne said...

The custom of stretching earlobes is making a come=back in our Western sociaty now!
My hussband insisted that I would do it too. I was very reluctant, but gradually the idea appealed to me.
After a couple of year of marriage, I submitted and I had two small slits cut in my earlobes.
First I wore some pluds in them, but later I got increasingly large rims.
We have met several young women now who are doing the same thing.
Soon it will acceptable like tattoos for women!
Jeanne

Cecilia M Lawing said...

Hi Jeanne, mine was poked after two weeks old. Grow with it and it is very painful because we often asked to hang heavy weight (earrings)to stretch the rims. Ohh those days within my community, the longer the earlobes the prettier the women look to the men!

Anonymous said...

I've been extending my earlobes for four years now.
My husband loves it. We will continue to stretch them until they are about 2' or 2 1/2' long.
I wear a rather large nose ring too.
Some people think I'm crazy, but our western society is quite intolerant when it comes to such adornments. It seems that tattoos are getting more accepted though.
Somebody has to be the first, right?
Caro.

Cecilia M Lawing said...

Jeanne and Caro,

Thanks for your comments.

You will hardly find this long earlobes at our village now. People are totally stop doing this for very time. I think my batch was the last generation who carry this long earlobes.

Those day, the native guys would find the long earlobes girl very attractive but today generations will find this ugly and weird I think..hehe