Mysterious Rite-Cheek piercing with skewers
Tongren County in Qinghai China is home to both the Zang and Tu ethnic groups, which celebrate a special carnival with traditions and practices handed down through countless generations.
The carnival includes a variety of activities such as singing, dancing, the beating of drums, and the extraordinary piercing of cheeks with skewers, for entertainment and as a sacrifice to secure a good harvest and a good life.
The cheek piercing is one of the most fascinating and astonishing activities in the carnival. Local people call it ‘bolting the mouth’ or a ‘mouth lock’. The master pierces the left and right cheeks of the young volunteers with a metal skewer. According to legend, it prevents illness from finding its way into the body by the mouth.
Amazingly, those taking part neither bleed nor feel any pain during the process. It also doesn’t leave a scar.