April 1, 2005
A Brush With a New Life
In Africa, some Sudanese gave up their teeth to fulfill their notion of beauty. Now refugees in Nebraska, they are getting replacements as a research team studies the results.
Doobuony Bukjiok was about 7 years old when a member of his Sudanese tribe had him lie on a cowhide mat on the ground. The man then pried four of the boy's newly erupted permanent teeth out of his lower gum with a small fishing hook.
The ordeal was part of a ritual meant to signal maturity and to make him