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  jieba dots (China)

 

China

The old Shaolin abbot in this photo, made during a performance of The Legend Of Kung Fu at the Red Theatre in Beijing, is shaving the head of a young novice during his ordination, preparing him to apply the jieba, i.e. nine rounded scars or marks, that are burned onto the head of Shaolin monks in three rows of three dots, when they accept and are committed to follow the order's regulations. The jieba, here visible on the head of the senior monk, are applied with burning incense sticks (fig.) and represent the nine monastic rules of the Shaolin order.