East-Central Africa Labia Stretching
Even though we know that the beginning of labia stretching came into being in Africa, there are strong accounts of the deep roots of this practice in the African culture.
The first truth to know about the earlier African culture is that here, sexuality was not considered forbidden and was treated as another aspect of life. It was in fact this open expression of sexuality in the African cultures that kept them at cultural loggerheads with the European cultures.
In fact, the Europeans would consider the Africans as very primitive primarily because of their open outlook toward sexuality. In fact, many of the aspects of women that are exploited today and used to undermine them were considered agents of power for the women ask then. For example, a woman had her own sexual choices to make and none could even be forced on her.
A woman’s menstruation was also considered a great power and on the days that the women in African tribes would menstruate, all they were to do was sit and relax and enjoy themselves. Such was their power and the difference in considering sexuality back then. One of the indicators of the social strength of women back then was the concept of labia stretching which was the process of growing the vagina.
The origination of labia stretching, however. May have been earlier than has been understood. It has been seen that the practice was not just conducted by the Botatwe and Sabi people but also by the Mwika and Nyasa as well. This practice was also noticed in the Kasai region, the Ganda and the Gisu, and even the Venda of northern South Africa.
The practice has also been noticed in the Central Savanna people of the Eastern Savanna Bantu, in the Central Savanna people, and even in western Luba. In the Yao of northern Mozambique, the Malawi of the northern lake, the central Sabi people, and the other tribes also practiced the same art however it cannot be determined if all of these were interconnected or happened to come up with the same practice. It can also not be determined which tribe influenced which one because they were all widespread and it is not very clear which tribes came up with which rituals before the others.
This is still not the complete account of how widespread the practice was since even the tribes of Kalahari and Khoisan to the south of East-Central Africa were practicing it In fact it was from here that the first woman with stretched labia was brought out to the world. Evidence does suggest that the origination of this custom was in the hunting and gathering of African tribes in southern and East-Central Africa and the custom then expanded to the other tribes.