How Strange are the Strangest Customs of the World?

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Odd are the ways of many cultures of the world and we know that; but, how odd really? If you want a real concept of how far people are willing to stretch the idea of what is normal, read on.

Free Sex Custom of an Indian Tribe

The Deer Horn Muria are a little known tribe who dwell in the remote forests of Central India, but they can boast of a sexual custom that will make the most modern and liberated 21st century adults go red in their face. They have a kind of a coed dorm or school for their teenagers, known as ‘Ghotul’, where the youngsters are supposed to learn all the practices of the tribe, including songs, dances and lore. At night, the teenagers are encouraged to engage in free sex with their peers. A girl chooses a different sexual partner every night, and pregnancy is avoided by drinking liquor that is brewed locally, which supposedly works as a contraceptive. If the girl gets pregnant anyway, the entire village adopts the baby, since it is rather hard to determine who the child’s father really is.

Black Teeth for Makeup, Vietnam

Women all over the world go through a lot of trouble to get their makeup right, but how about the women of the Lu tribe of Vietnam, who apply jet black dye on their teeth to look attractive. The dye consists of the residue of burnt coconut husks and free resins, and what’s most interesting is the logic behind the practice. The women believe that shiny white teeth are a characteristic of demons, wild animals and savages, and a cultured and sophisticated woman should not be mistaken for either of these. Who can argue with that, really!

Stinging Rite of Manhood, Brazilian Amazon

Head across the globe from Vietnam to the forests of the Brazilian Amazon, and rituals are no less strange. Young men of the Satere-Mawe tribe, like young men almost anywhere else, are eager to prove that they are ready for responsibility, adulthood and respect. How they go about proving themselves is a rather strange custom and it is certainly not for the faint hearted.

The men are supposed to thrust their hands into a glove that consists of several hundred venomous bullet ants. The pain and sting of the multiple bites is so severe that the victim feels almost unbearable agony for days. However, the young men embrace the pain with a brave face, and this performance of self torture is accompanied by singing and dancing. According to local wisdom, this ritual confers hunting prowess to the young men and strengthens their immune system.


Comments (2)

Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

Those are definitely some strange customs.  I can't see these catching on here anytime soon.  But, it's interesting to read about how other people live.

Jun 03, 2011 02:32 AM
James Loftis - West Palm Beach, FL

Hello Falina,


  Interesting article and great photos, Thanks for sharing.

Jun 03, 2011 02:54 AM