Ancient civilizations such as Indian, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and others are all mysterious and stunning. From these cultures, structures remained that amaze the imagination to this day. All of them are admirable, even despite the absence of so-called “modern technology”. Ancient customs were full of wisdom, and most of them have retained their practicality to this day.
However, among the customs and traditions that these civilizations and cultures followed, there are several that it is difficult to refrain from asking: “Why? Why the hell did they do all this? ” Some customs are so crazy that once you get to know them, you can feel happy just because they are no longer practiced.
If you think that high heels were invented for women to accentuate their grace, you are very wrong. In fact, they were meant for men. Breathe deeply and control yourself! It may be bitter, but it’s true.
It is believed that high heels were invented around the fifteenth century in Persia. Their original purpose is to stabilize the rider’s leg in the stirrup. Europeans adopted this custom from the Persians much later.
Aristocrats wore heels to look taller and more imposing. In 1673, King Louis XIV appeared before his courtiers in shoes with red heels and soles. At first, only a select few, a small group of aristocrats, were allowed to follow this new fashion. However, it soon spread across Europe at the speed of a wildfire. Royals in many countries of the Old World began to wear high-heeled shoes as they came to be considered a symbol of superiority.
02.Crocodile excrement makeup
It can be said without exaggeration that the Romans were the founders of the modern art of makeup. They used the available natural ingredients to give their skin a more attractive appearance. One such ingredient was crocodile droppings. Yes, this is disgusting, but it must be admitted that he performed his function quite effectively.
The fact is that in those days, white skin was not only considered beautiful, but was also a sign of noble origin and wealth. The ideal Roman patrician woman should have had beautiful snow-white skin, which indicated that she could afford to spend most of her time under a roof, and not in the scorching sun.
Basically everything was perfect, except for one thing. The complexion of the Romans was closer to olive, rather than ivory. To overcome this problem, they applied a thick layer of powder to their face, which consisted of white lead, crocodile excrement, and chalk powder.
The Romans invented mouthwash in ancient times. However, before you admire their accomplishments, you should know that this remedy was nothing more than urine. Moreover, they used animal and human urine to clean their teeth.
Most likely, now you have a puzzled and contemptuous grimace on your face, but this strange method is not so meaningless from a scientific point of view. Urine contains ammonia, which is found in many cleaning products. So, we must admit, the ancient Romans acted quite logically. In addition, urine was also used to wash clothes.
04.Execution of “ganga-rao” in India
Traitors or malicious violators of the law were executed with the help of … elephants. Yes, this is a really cruel and rather painful method of capital punishment. However, it was widely used in South and Southeast Asia, primarily in India. However, I must say that this eerie ritual existed not only in the East, but also in some countries of the Western world.
In India, this form of the death penalty was called “ganga-rao”, and in the Middle Ages it was almost the main form of punishment. Elephants were used as a kind of executioners until the middle of the 19th century, and it was only in the second half of the century that this custom began to disappear.
05.Blackening of teeth
When we mention teeth, we automatically associate with such epithets as “pearl white”, “perfectly even”, “healthy and strong”. However, in some ancient cultures, there was a completely different opinion on this matter.
Imagine, they wanted to have black teeth! How can you achieve this? Of course, with the help of staining. This custom was widespread in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, South America, and especially Japan.
The Japanese term “ohaguro” is translated as “blackened teeth”. This fashion was followed by most girls from a very early age. Black teeth were considered a symbol that a woman was beautiful and also a sign of puberty.
However, oddly enough, the hidden cause of blackening of the teeth was of a medical nature. In this way, caries was prevented in those days. Scientists found that the method used by the Japanese was actually quite effective, and it was used until the 19th century.
06.Eunuchs at the imperial courts
If anyone thinks that eunuchs like Varys, the intriguer from Game of Thrones, exist only in imagination or fantasy stories, they are simply not familiar with the story. In fact, the courts of the Chinese emperors were full of eunuchs.
In the Chinese penitentiary system, there was a phenomenon known as the Five Punishments. One of these punishments was castration. However, sterilization was not only used as a punishment – it was also a way to become a courtier.
Since the Han Dynasty, it was the eunuchs who accounted for most of the daily activities of the imperial court. Like the aforementioned Varys, they wielded tremendous political power and influence.
Chinese rulers were never afraid of impotent people, since they are not capable of having children who could claim the throne. The kings even allowed thousands of eunuchs to live in the Forbidden City, because they were convinced that their wives could only get pregnant from them. This tradition continued for many centuries, until the Sui dynasty came to power in the 6th century AD.
07.Children of Yum Kaash
The Maya people had a corn god named Yum Kaash. He was also considered the lord of the forests, the god of wild vegetation, and the animals living in it. In a sense, this is the analogue of Venus among the Romans and Greeks. Yum Kaash was also considered the embodiment of beauty.
The Maya deliberately lengthened their skull to give it the shape of an ear of corn. To do this, they made a bandage of wooden planks, with which the babies’ heads were pulled together, since at this stage the skull could take any shape.
Tradition dictated that this bandage be left on for six months. During this time, the child’s skull acquired an elongated shape, similar to that of corn. Similar rituals with the deformation of various parts of the body were found in other ancient cultures.