The Secret Museum of Mankind: Afterwards, the girl danced with pleasure!

Apropos of nothing, this is from “The Secret Museum of Mankind,” a book I found ages ago. The book, full of photos and captions like this, has no publication date on it, but here’s a description I found on the good old Internet:

Cannibals. Fakirs. Crime and punishment. Rituals. Slaves, cults and customs. Warriors and weapons. Equestrians and equilibrists. Musicians and mendicants. Dance, dress, undress and body modification. Structures, conveyances, beasts, and more breasts than you can shake a stick at! This is The Secret Museum of Mankind.

  Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index. Published by “Manhattan House” and sold by “Metro Publications”, both of New York, its “Five Volumes in One” was pure hype: it had never been released in any other form.Advertised as “World’s Greatest Collection of Strange & Secret Photographs” and marketed mainly to overheated adolescents (see the 1942 Keen ad, left), it consists of nothing but photos and captions with no further exposition. This was not a book published to educate (despite appearing on some public library’s shelves), but to titillate (literally)— it’s emphasis was on the female form (“Female Beauty Round the World”) and fashion, and it featured as many National-Geographic-style native breasts as possible. But anything lurid, weird, or just plain unusual is fair game. This was a book to gawk at by flashlight under the bedcovers.Teeth

The caption on this one reads:

OLD KAITISH WOMAN KNOCKING TOOTH OUT OF YOUNG GIRL TO MAKE HER MORE ATTRACTIVE

All the girl’s teeth were sound, but the men of the tribe had lost interest in teeth extraction as a magic mystery, and instead of making it a mle privilege, as tongue-piercing still was, let women, and even girls, hav their teeth knocked out. And they were keen on it. The tooth, having been loosened by presure with a stick, is being knocked out with three sharp blows. Afterwards, the girl danced with pleasure!

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