The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Androgyny
Androgyny Image

These Ubangi women imported by circus promoters and shown in sideshows in Europe and the United States had a tradition of enlarging their lower lips by inserting progressively larger wooden disks into a slit made shortly after birth. This highly unusual adornment (at least by Western standards), gave them an exotic air. The photo at left heightens their differences by posing them next to their Western female counterparts. The enlarged lip was such a prominent feature of these tribeswomen that their personal identities were associated more with their adornment than with their gender.

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Ubangi Women