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Monday, May 5, 2014

Cultural Perceptions of Beauty..

What is Beautiful? 
Are the ideals of beauty the same for everyone (Universalism)?
Are perceptions of what is beautiful different for every person based on their experiences (Cultural Relativism)?]
"What is cultural relativism?"
Cultural relativism is the view that all beliefs, customs, and ethics are relative to the individual within his own social context. In other words, “right” and “wrong” are culture-specific; what is considered moral in one society may be considered immoral in another, and, since no universal standard of morality exists, no one has the right to judge another society’s customs.

The idea that there is only one notion of beauty is considered a universalistic approach. If one considers that every culture has a different standard of beauty based on that culture's particular values, traditions and environment is considered to be "cultural relativism."
cultural beauty standards
The Museum of Enduring Beauty-the People's Museum@ virtualmuseummelaka.com/cantik.

“the different perceptions of beauty”

When talking about beauty one must keep an open mind. What one finds true beauty someone else might find outrageous, weird or even ugly. There is no such thing as ultimate true beauty because you can not compare beauty. We do not live all following the same standards or principles; we do not have the same ideals. We are different, so is beauty.

In Asia for example the standards for beauty differ from country to country, from culture to culture.
Orang Ulu is a tribe under Dayak community. In the old days, they have their special personal adornment.
One of the most fascinating adornments is using a heavy brass earring to elongate their earlobes. This personal adornment is practised by both men and women. To the Orang Ulu, the elongated earlobes symbolize great beauty. It is a symbol of beauty.Traditionally, parents start to perforate and stretch their month-old baby's ear by hanging heavy brass earrings or other types of ornament. As her earlobes stretch, a new ring is added to extend further. Gradually, the heavy earrings greatly extend the earlobes, often down to the shoulders. 
For the women, it is perceived that the longer the earlobes, the more attractive the person is.

@Borneo Hornbill Festival ((Miss-Borneo-Ethnic-Pageant)
LINK:My Mother's day story:Elongated ears of Dayak Kayan Maiden
SEA DYAK BEAUTY @Borneo Hornbill Festival 2011
Kumang Saribas:Ngepan Kumang Iban.

The flattening process took place within the first month after birth. An apparatus known as "Tadal" or "Ja" is utilized for this purpose. A "Tadal"(Dalat) or "Jak"(Mukah) or "Apih"(Medong) consists of a stout flat wooden bar about 24 cm long and 9 cm wide. On the middle part of the bar is fastened with a soft pad which applied to the infants' forehead. A strap made of soft cloth in a T-Shape and is attached with a pair of strings which pass through holes at both end of the bar. The strings are brought together on the front of the bar and pass through the centre of a copper coin or a wooden disc at the middle of the bar.The apparatus is applied while the child is asleep and is at once relaxes if the child waken up or cries. The degree of pressure is gradually applied by twisting the coin round and round. The application normally last for 15 minutes on each occasion but in successive days. Depending on the pressure, 10 to 20 application seems to suffice to bring about the desired effect of a moon-like face which is most admired
Moon faced beauty (LINK..)
Beauty precedes all
In the beginning, it was painful putting on the rings and all the ring ladies grew up with atrophied limbs. However, like most women, beauty precedes everything and the pain was worth it.
What is even more amazing is that the wearers do not take off the rings when doing their daily chores. The rings have become part of their daily dressing up.
The Semban womenfolk till the padi fields under the scotching sun with the rings on and they also wear them when showering in the cold mountain water pumped into their house through gravity feed.
To reduce friction, leaves of any plants are placed between the rings and the calves or the forearms. Kusan uses citrus fruit juice to clean and polish the rings so that they continue to shine like gold.
The Sembans, as a sub-tribe of the bigger Bidayuh society which have generally been egalitarian in nature, do not impose wearing of the rings on their fair sex. It has been the choice of the girls themselves

Travel Log:Chiangmai..
Symbols of Karen Beauty -the Long-Necks is BEAUTIFUL
situated on the border between Burma and Thailand) have another ideal of beauty. Also known as “long necks”, they measure a woman’s beauty according to the brass rings wore around the neck. As they grow older they increase the number of rings which gives them an elongated neck appearance. They start this ritual as early as the age of 5 and their neck is absolutely transformed by the heavy rings. The elongated neck is a result of the pressure the rings put on their shoulders, clavicles and chest. The shoulders are being pushed down, that’s how the elongated neck appearance is achieved.
The Museum of Enduring Beauty-the People's Museum@ virtualmuseummelaka.com/cantik.
Symbols of Karen Beauty -the Long-Necks
The Museum of Enduring Beauty-the People's Museum@ virtualmuseummelaka.com/cantik.
The Lip Plate
Considered a sign of beauty in the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia Africa, the lip plate is worn by women daily who seek acceptance and to appear desirable to men. When the women are ready to marry, they begin the process of the lip plate by making a hole in the lower lip with a wood stick which is expanded a little everyday. Eventually, when the hole is big enough, women insert a plate and gradually the plate is replaced by a bigger plate until it has reached its full size. It is a very painful process which girls have to undergo for months, where somtimes the teeth have to be broken to insert the plate, but once suceeded, they are seen as the epitome of beauty! also, the bigger the plate, the more beautiful the woman..

The plate is a usually a sacred object and dyed and decorated according to the wearers preference. Women are also shaved, like the men, because they hate hairiness
The Rungus Native of NORTH BORNEO
The Rungus living in the Kudat district are known to have maintained their ancient traditions to this day. Even the traditional ladies costume has not many changes made to it. Some of the women still wear costumes made from cloth processed form hand-grown and hand-spun cotton. 
The design of the Rungus costume is simple. A black cloth with little hand-stitched patterns worn from the chest to the waist becomes the blouse ( banat tondu ) and the skirt is a knee-length sarong (tapi rinugading) of the same material. Another length of black cloth, about 28-30 cms. Wide is slipped over the head and it rests on the shoulders draped over the arms like sleeves. 
What makes this outfit very interesting is the belts and necklaces that go with it. Little brass rings and antique beads looped through thin strands of stripped bark ( togung ) becomes a wide and colourful hipband called orot. To wear this, the orot is slowly and carefully coiled around the hip. Then a last string of beads ( lobokon ) is hung loosely from the coil. The orot is hand made by the Rungus men as the technique is known only to them. 
The Rungus Costume@Borneo Hornbill Festival 2012
The Rungus are also well-known for their beadwork and the costume shows off some of their finest. Two shoulders bands ( pinakol ), about 6 to 8 cms wide are aworn diagonally over each shoulder and cross over in front. The bead-work often tell a story and this one in particular tells of a man going spear-hunting for a riverine creature. Usually the pattern must follow ancient designs when worn with this costume. 
Long antique bed necklace ( sandang ) are also worn diagonally over the shoulders. These necklaces often include ivory-white discs, obtained from the shell of the kima ( tridachna gigas ) as well as animal bones. 
Several necklaces of reddish-brown glass beads and the chocker-like suldau with the white kima as the centre-piece further adorn this costume. The large burambun and the smaller giring are antique brass bells that sound with the slightest movement. 
The Rungus lady's hair is combed into a bun and a multi-coloured floral head-piece ( titimbok ) is worn. A thin band of beads strung together ( sisingal ) is tied around the forehead and then pieces of cloth sewn together in rows to form colorful pigtails ( rampai ) are tided at the nape. 
This costume, with all the beads and belts, is worn during festivals. Rungus ritual specialist also wear the complete outfit when conducting rituals.
BAJIK(Dayak Iban Language)-->(Beautiful)..BAJIK Song by Devance Band(Dayak Iban Band)

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