by Farida Dawkins, at 04:02 am, March 02, 2018, Culture

What is that on your face? African tribal marks and their meanings

Woodaabe woman with tattooed face marks…stock photo


The Woodaabe, Mbororo, or Bororo tribe are a sub-group of the Fulani tribe.  The women adorn various patterns of tribal marks on their face which are then dyed to enhance the scar’s appearance.  It is said the marks are to block evil spirits and for beautification purposes.

This is not an extensive list of the unique body markings performed throughout the continent. Nevertheless, it is important to note that though these traditions have a significant meaning, they are becoming less important in many tribes especially because it is done at an early age.  Some countries are beginning to impose fines and jail time for those who perform body markings. This is said to be done to protect the welfare of children.

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