Women, but not men, have their ears pierced so they can wear decorative flowers, leaves, and so forth in them. The girls themselves decide when to have the piercing done. Here a man pierces a girls ear using a porcupine quill. He previously cooled her ears with water over which he had said a spell (in the bowl on the left).
Endicott Image Collection
Decoration and ornament -- Malaysia -- Kelantan., Batek (Malaysian people) -- Decoration., Lebir River (Malay)