In Mindanao, Philippines, the indigenous people have a custom quite opposite of modern Western beauty standards. The B'laan people of this region black their teeth because it is seen as the beauty ideal. This culture sees black teeth as more than just a sign of beauty, but also as a status symbol. People in the B'laan tribe with blackened teeth as viewed as more important. This tradition of blackening teeth was also very popular in ancient Japanese culture. The custom in the B'laan tribe has ancient roots as well, but the tradition is still practiced to this day. There are tribes in Vietnam that practice modern teeth blackening too.
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Written by Curiosity Staff December 31, 2015
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