We are taught that having a set of gleaming white teeth is a sign of confidence and advantage.
But for the Blaan women in Mindanao, white teeth is a ridiculous notion.
For centuries, their ideal is to have black teeth!
This Blaan woman, Sinsin, shares a beauty regime she’s had since the age of eight: not just black teeth, but also sharpened and filed teeth!
And since teeth are a status symbol to the tribe, they take pride in the practice. It’s also the women’s link to the past and their cultural identity.
As she demonstrates the ritual, we get a glimpse of their upland community and how close it is to nature.
Here’s Sinsin talking about her black and filed teeth:
Sinsin and her friends know that modernity will creep up on the younger generation, many of whom have white teeth, but they hope to keep the tradition alive themselves.
This documentary made by Metropolis Web, a global collective of filmmakers and TV producers.