Ritual Ablation of Front Teeth in Modern and Recent Kenyans
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The oral condition of 1274 living people was examined in 3 districts of Kenya and in 117 Kenyan skulls of recent age from the Natural History Museum, London; Cambridge University; and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. The traits of ritual ablation of mainly mandibular central incisors were observed in 57 cases out of 233 examinees of over 10 years of age (24.5%) in Lodwar, 29 of 210 (13.8%) in Kericho, and 3 of 190 (1.6%) in Nairobi, and in 25 mandibles out of 29 skills (86.2%). Thus, the existence of ritual ablation of the front teeth in modern Kenyans was confirmed, but the incidence is lower than in the skeletal group, and much less in urbanized areas than in rural districts. The size of the remaining space showed a significant correlation with tooth-to-denture-base discrepancy, but not with the lapse of time since extraction.