Tooth Filing Museum Skull

As a follow-up to Christian Noni’s dental modification article, Jenna sends in these photos she took at the Museum of Jade in San Jose, Costa Rica last week — here’s what the attached card said,

“Inlays and dental serration”

Between men and women of several American cultures it was common the practice of the be filed and to be perforated in a partial way the teeth. With the perforation technique, stones or jadeita fillers were incrusted, pyre or turquoise, while the filing or serration were carried out reducing the dental pieces by means of the use of abrasive materials on the enamel and the dentine.

In the Great Nicoya the artisans elaborated vessels with human faces carrying mortuary masks that showed filed teeth, a common practice among the cultural groups Chorotegas and Nicaraos that denoted courage, range or corporal beauty according to their beliefs.

In the jaw and in the ceramic vessel it is observed the mutilation or dental serration, while in the tooth a jade inlay is appreciated.

teeth1.jpg teeth2.jpg teeth3.jpg

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

12 thoughts on “Tooth Filing Museum Skull

  1. is the third tooth to the left on the top row carved to look like a skull, or am i just seeing things? either way, that is an interesting practice, and i think it looks pretty good.

  2. In both photos, it looks like it’s carved like a skull. If so, that’s one of the coolest things I’ll probably ever see.

  3. I had to have my teeth filed to NOT look like that. When my permanent teeth grew in, they were all ridgy on the edges and it never corrected itself. :?

    That skull is AWESOME.

  4. I found a nice video about “teeth chiseling” by National Geographics in Itunes, I would like to post a link but Itunes does not let me share. Even when its free!!

    I’ll post a link once I find one…

  5. I wonder how it this kin of thing would look on a living person… And this had to hurt quite badly because the interior of the teeh is very exposed, but it seems that this guy has very healthy teeth so I assume it’s not that dangerous.

  6. would hurt less than catching a beer bottle off your teeth.

    I really like it.

    Always comforting to know we’re not the only oddities in history.

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