There are many rituals in extreme body modification. The ritual of Lip Sewing is where a person has their lips stitched shut for a period of time.
First thoughts one might have include, “what,” “That’s crazy,” “why, that looks painful, how do they eat.” To answer the question of eating, it is done as a ritual not a permanent modification or piercing. It is classified sometimes as a “play piercing” which means not an everyday use piercing.
One use for having one’s lips sewn shut is for meditation purposes. With your lips sewn shut you lose the ability to talk, allowing you to focus on relaxation. It could also be done for aesthetic or plain old entertainment reasons.
Usually sutures are used in the procedure which is done loosely to allow air to pass through. Swelling is typical, but permanent scarring is rare with the quick healing holes.
On January 19th, 2002 nearly 60 detainees in an Australian immigrant camp sewed their lips shut in protest of the slow processing of their visas.