Body Art and Ornamentation

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Yoruba and Maori Body Art Introduction to Cultural Anthropology: ANT101 Yoruba and Maori Body Art For centuries body art and ornamentation has been performed in different cultures across the world to signify various meanings. Through anthropological research, we find that scarification, piercings, and permanent and nonpermanent tattooing are forms of body art and ornamentation that can be seen as a visual language done for many reasons. Schildkrout (2004) mentions "Skin, as a visible way of defining individual identity and cultural difference is not only a highly elaborated preoccupation in many cultures; it is also the subject of wide ranging and evolving scholarly discourse in the humanities and social sciences" (pg. 1, para. 2). The procedures of body art and ornamentation is an acutely painful experience but critical to an individual's self-discovery and building a place within their society. In this paper, I will analyze facial scarification in the Yoruba tribe and facial tattooing in the Maori tribe. The West Africa Yoruba tribe wears scar stripes on their faces. "Yoruba facial stripes are only produced by scarification and not by paint or tattoos" Orie (2011, para. 2). Anthropologists have noted that scarification is the predominate type of body marking among African tribes. African cultures use scarification marks as identifiers amongst tribes as a tool to separate themselves from outsiders. As an example, men, women, and children are often governed to facial scarification to divide their tribe from other local tribes. However, Orie (2011) states " [...] not all Yoruba people have facial stripes. A person whose face is scarred with stripes is referred to as Okola 'the one with facial stripes', whereas those without them are called Oboro 'plain not striped face" (para. 2). Furthermore, various scarification facial patterns exist with
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