Toothfiling Ceremony

 

Lady with traditional headdress - click on the photo for more
Lady with traditional headdress – click on the photo for more

Tooth Filing is an important rite of passage for Balinese Hindus that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. Metatah or “tooth filing” is a common ritual which typically takes place during the months of July and August. In the Balinese belief system, the ceremony helps people rid themselves of the invisible forces of evil – teeth are the symbol of lust, greed, anger, insobriety, confusion and jealousy. Long teeth are seen as these signs and the filing of teeth is believed to cleanse the body and soul of unseen malignant forces. The teeth filing is performed by a professional known as a “sangging” who is traditionally of the Brahmana caste. Filing the teeth therefore renders someone both more physically and more spiritually beautiful, as well as symbolising the rite of passage for an adolescent into adulthood.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s