The largest lip plate measures 19.5 cm (7.7 in), and was achieved by Ataye Eligidagne, as measured in Ethiopia, in 2014.
A member of the Surma tribe that Ataye lives in previously held this record at 15 cm, but she exceeded it by 4.5 cm. She was photographed by Australian film-maker Abraham Joffe - this photo was included in the 2015 Guinness World Records book.
Normally worn for decoration, for the Surma people of southern Ethiopia the significance of wearing lip plates is a financial one. The process of inserting these plates (made by the women themselves from local clay, which are then coloured with ochre and charcoal and fire-baked) begins approximately a year before marriage and the final size indicates the number of cattle required by the girl's family from her future husband for her hand. For example, a plate measuring 15 cm (6 in) in diameter - the previous record holder - would require a payment of 50 cattle.
The practice of inserting large, circular clay plates behind the lower lips of the women is seen as a sign of true beauty. At puberty, the lip is stretched with a clay plate, and the size increased incrementally. A girl's goal is to reach a plate the size of a teacup saucer, or bigger, before she is married.