Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/775

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LIP AND EAR ORNAMENTS OF THE BOTOCUDUS.

morés of southern Brazil in 1549, says of one of the chiefs "Then he arose, and strutted before me with proud conceit, and he had a large round green stone sticking through the lips of his mouth as their custom is."[1]

The opening in the lower lip is made when the person is quite young by piercing it with a long, slender thorn that grows on a kind of palm tree; this is enlarged with the point of a deer's horn and a stick or small stone is inserted and the wound is greased with some kind of salve. These openings are gradually enlarged by forcing bigger and bigger plugs into them until the desired size is reached. It was formerly the custom when the young men PSM V43 D775 Botocudu man.jpgFig. 3.—Botocudu Man. The ear ornament has been removed and the distended lobe is allowed to hang free. were old enough to bear arms that the openings were enlarged and the green stone labrets inserted.[2]

Jean de Lery says that sometimes when these stones are out, just for the fun of it, they stick their tongues through the holes in their lips, to make people believe they have two mouths. He adds, "I leave you to judge whether they look handsome when they are doing this."[3]

The lip ornament is of two very different forms, only one of which—the broad and stopper-shaped one—is illustrated in the accompanying cuts; the other is long and rudely T-shaped. The shank or long cylinder is pushed through the opening from inside the lip and the cross-piece at the top prevents its falling out. The openings for ornaments of this kind are not nearly so large as those required by the stopper-shaped ones. Several writers tell of the use of stones for labrets. Jean de Lery[4] speaks of polished bone as white as ivory used by the big boys, and replaced when they are grown by green stones. I have seen many of them made of clay and burned like pottery, while the ornaments in most common use nowadays are made of wood.

There is a fair collection of Brazilian Indian lip and ear orna-


  1. The Captivity of Hans Stade, of Hesse. The Hakluyt Society, No li p 72.
  2. Hans Stade, p. 139.
  3. Histoire d'vn Voyage faict en la Terre dv Bresil, par Jean de Lery. Geneva, 1583, p. 104.
  4. Op. cit., p. 104.