A young girl paying homage to Buddhist monks during her tonsure ceremony. The ritual shaving of the head marks the transition from childhood to adolescence. Traditionally, many Thai Buddhist children would have their heads shaved leaving just a tuft of hair. This tuft of hair is believed to protect the area through which the human spirit enters the body at birth and departs at death. It is therefore thought that covering this spot with a topknot protects the child against illness and accident. This topknot is ritually cut by a Brahman priest during a tonsure ceremony at puberty.