Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Facial tattoos from Africa, Asia and the Americas

Got sidetracked into this topic while doing research for the previous illustration. :-)

Wodaabe woman in Niger (detail from photo taken by Dan Lundberg)
Other African ethnic groups that practice facial tattooing include the Bini (Edo) of Nigeria,1 the Tsemai of Ethiopia,2 and the Amazigh people (Berbers) of North Africa.3

Atayal woman from Taiwan (View image in Digital Museum of Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples)
Other Austronesians that practice the art of facial tattooing include the Kalinga of the Philippines,4 the Ukit of Malaysia,5 and the Maori of New Zealand.6

Mohave woman in the United States (View full size image on Fort Mohave Indian Tribe site)
Other peoples in the Americas who practice facial tattooing include the Kayabi of Brazil,7 the Aleuts of the US,8 and the Matsés of Peru.9

The lists presented above are NOT intended to be exhaustive. There were/are many other traditional cultures that practiced facial tattooing, such as the Ainu of Japan and the Kondhs of India.
A couple of movies that depict traditional facial tattoos are Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (left image), based on a legend of an Inuit blood feud; and Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (right image), a historical epic about the Seediq aborigines' reaction to the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.

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