Strange rites persist in regions near Makassar, Celebes. There, toothless smiles kindle flowers o£ love. There, among the isolated Toradji tribes who live in the barren interior of central Celebes, the road to marriage is paved with broken teeth.
Only girls without their front teeth will succeed in kindling the flames of love in the hearts of the Toradji men. Such girls are prettier, and furthermore, they won't bite, the men claim. To catch herself a husband, a Toradji girl will grab the first handy stone and knock out her front teeth. The practice is a leftover from religious beliefs of the ancient Toradjis. Although the custom is dying out, it still persists in remote areas.
What a difference on the value of a tooth is set forth in the Bible where injuries to persons are spoken of:
And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. And if he smite out his manservant's tooth or his maidservant's tooth, she shall let him go free for his tooth's sake (Exodus 21:26,27).
Along with this, we recall Proverbs 25:19: "Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is hke a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.