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					                              BODY PAINTING

• The African Face Painting Tradition
•   By an eHow Contributor

•   African Men Painting faces with different patterns and symbols has long been part of the tradition of many
    cultures, including the African nations. Face painting, which is usually complemented with body paint, is
    done according to tribal rites and cultural activities of specific African tribal groups. This tradition also
    carries different purposes and meanings for different tribes such as hunting, specific events, rituals and
    tribal status.

•   Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |
    Face and body painting carry a lot of symbolism to the Efik tribe. This ethnic group, which resides primarily in southeastern
       Nigeria, uses face painting to signify love and purity. During the old times in the tribe, the painting of faces was a way of
  expressing the tribe native’s own identity. Face painting also included patterns for identifying families and clans. In some cases,
   face painting also symbolizes the happiness of giving birth to a child. For single women, a painted face is the equivalent of an
  initiation rite for the bearer to formally enter the society of women. For families, painted faces also indicate their happiness for
some good news they have received. The native female dancers, called Abang, use face painting as way of expressing their beauty,
                                                      love and complete femininity.

   Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |
   The Xhosa tribe obtains the paint they use on their face from an area called Hogsback. They call this place
  Qabimbola, which means red clay on the face. The purposes for these tribal people to paint their faces are
 varied. Some use it as a protection from the sunlight. The women put white paint on their faces as a mark for
beauty. During the manhood initiation rite called Abakwetha, the young men have their faces painted first with
white mud. After the circumcision ceremony, their faces will be covered with mud signifying their readiness for
                                      complete adult male responsibilities.

 Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |
The Pondo tribe in Pondoland of the South African region celebrates the tradition called umgidi. This refers to
the initiation of a young woman to become a diviner or priestess of the tribe. The final initiation day is marked
by the woman appearing at her homestead naked to the waist with her face and torso painted with white clay
  embellished with idwabe leaves. The paint pattern created on her torso and face symbolizes her link to her
    ancestors who are believed to be the reason for her illness and recovery. The women dance to express
                             gratitude to her ancestors for restoring her health.

Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |
  The Karo tribes located in Southern Omo Valley in Ethiopia are known to be masters of traditional body and
face painting. They paint their faces and bodies as a valuable part of their dance feast and ceremonies such as
 for courtships. They use pulverized white chalk, black charcoal, yellow, ochre and red earth to create striking
and elaborate painting patterns to emulate the plumage of the guinea fowl. These patterns are usually traced
                                      by just using their hands and fingers.

Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |
The Woodabe tribe, also called the Bororo tribe, is a group of pastoral nomads found in the eastern Niger. The
tribe celebrates the Gerewol festival, a special venue that gives men the chance to meet and attract women in
their tribe. During the celebration, competitions take place in the form of a beauty pageant where the women
are the judges and the men are the candidates. The Woodabe men paint their faces yellow or red and their lips
                   black during their annual dance ceremonies to increase beauty and appeal.

 Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |
The Maasai (sometimes misspelled "Masai") are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-
nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best
known of African ethnic groups, due to their distinctive customs and dress and
residence near the many game parks of East Africa.[2] They speak Maa (ɔl Maa),[2]
a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer, and
are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania: Swahili and
English. The Maasai population has reported as numbering 840,000 in Kenya in the
2009 census, compared to 377,000 in 1989 and 400,000 in 2000.

Body modification (or body alteration) is the
deliberate altering of the human body for
non-medical reasons, such as sexual
enhancement, a rite of passage, aesthetic
reasons, denoting affiliation, trust and loyalty,
religious reasons, shock value, and self-
expression.[1]. It can range from the socially
acceptable decoration (e.g., pierced ears in
many societies) to the religiously mandated
(e.g., circumcision in a number of cultures),
and everywhere in between. Body art is the
modification of any part of the human body
for spiritual, religious, artistic or aesthetic
Scarification Scarification is a permanent form
of body decoration that perfects the body in
much the same way as cosmetic surgery. It
involves puncturing or cutting patterns and
motifs into the dermis or upper levels of skin.
When the cuts heal, scars remain. Different
tools produce different types of scars, some
subtle, some pronounced. For example, cutting
the skin with a razor and then pulling the skin
up with a fishhook or thorn yeilds large, raised
keloids (scars). Soot, used as a sterile irritant,
can be rubbed into the open wounds to make
the scarring even more prominent.
Tooth Alterations
Many cultures alter the shape or alignment of
the teeth. Such enhancements include pulling
teeth, filing them horizontally, filing them to
sharp points, dyeing them, and repositioning

One modification-filing the teeth to a sharp
point-is practiced in several African countries.
Whereas both the lower and upper teeth can
be filed, most commonly it is the upper
incisors that are shaped. This procedure is
often carried out at puberty or just prior to
LIP PLATES - In the Name of Beauty - Southwest Ethiopia

Southwest, Ethiopia, women altered themselves for a husband. {Tribal Alteration is again
becoming the style for some modern people who see it as a spiritual rite.}
Neck Rings - "The Long Neck Tribe" of Burmese-Thai

The women walk slowly and stately as if in a dream. From the age of 6, each year a few
rings are snapped around a young girls neck until 20 rings in all have created a long giraffe
neck. Only on their wedding night do the women remove the rings.
CHINESE FOOT BINDING – In the name of beauty

Over 1000 years ago the prince's concubine, Yao Niang, walked so gracefully it
appeared as if she was "skimming over the top of golden lilies." Chinese Foot Binding
became all the rage.

Suddenly every man wanted a woman with beautiful 3 to 4 inch "Lotus Blossom" feet. Young
girl’s feet were wrapped tightly with cloth binding. This stunted foot growth from the age of 6
yrs old. As young girls endured their pain, they embroidered and beaded tiny slippers in
preparation for their reward, a "Cindarella prince" husband. In the name of beauty women
altered themselves. Here are two tiny pairs of 4 to 5 inch women's shoes

A 2008 model's blog reports a new procedure is being
done by an L.A. surgeon for models. Their bottom ribs
are removed to give the appearance of a sleek svelte
waist line. This procedure is nothing new. A few
Victorian women of wealth and drama had thier bottom
ribs removed. In these days sugery was often risky and led
to infection. In the name of beauty they altered them

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