Elongated labia (also known as Sinus pudoris or macronympha and albeit nonmedically, as khoikhoi apron or hottentot apron) is a feature of certain Khoisan groups, whose female members develop relatively elongated labia minora, hanging up to four inches outside their vulva when they are standing in an upright position. The "apron" moniker was apparently gained from the tendency of early European descriptions to misidentify the pair of labia as a single, wide organ, which they called, in French, a tablier, or "apron".
This trait was first noted as far back as the 17th century, but became extensively documented in the last part of the 18th and the 19th century.
Labia may also be shaped by intentional labia stretching, usually done by an aunt on girls beginning at the age of four or five, a practice falling into the category of female genital mutilation, although this designation is contested by some practitioners. Alternatively, labiaplasty may be used to reduce the appearance of elongated labia.
- Potgieter, D.J., ed. (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa 1. NASOU. p. 460. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- ‘The Female Hottentot, with natural Apron.’ A medical myth.
- Baker, John R. (1974). "The ‘Hottentot Venus’". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2006-06-26.
- "Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation".
- "Elongation of Labia Minora- Zambia".
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