CARTA: Lip Plates in Ethiopia with Shauna LaTosky

3/22/2024; 23 minutes

In the literature on lip plates in Southern Ethiopia there has been a strong emphasis on their socio-cultural importance and little information about their biocultural significance. Shauna LaTosky proposes that cultural keystone species theory and cultural keystone place theory could provide a useful frameworks for understanding relationships between the agro-pastoralist Mursi of Southern Ethiopia and the plant species and places that are integral to maintaining their cultural bodily practices. Keystone designations are applied here to the indigenous fruit tree lomay (Ximenia americana) and special clay pits in recognition of their role in the success of permanent body modification practices such as the piercing and stretching of women's lower lips, but also in the promotion of health, social well-being and a sustainable environment. (#39470)

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