There are so many beautiful and great African cultures which have been passed down from generation to generation and have shaped the good nature of the African people, one of them is certainly not the unappealing and bloody facial tribal marks done in certain African tribes. These African tribes who practice the culture of tribal marks, damaging the faces of their people all in the name of identification or one significant purpose or the other need to be stopped. Over the years as Africa passed through colonization many traditions consisting of certain barbaric acts such as the killing of twins which were performed in accordance with culture have been banned and eliminated which brings up the question; why was the ritual of tribal marks also not banned?
It has been the culture of certain tribes to inscribe marks on the faces of their people at birth, some specific to male or female and some general to signify either identity or beauty or the transition to adulthood. Whatever the reasons are it is outrightly barbaric to use sharp objects to mutilate the faces of newborn babies who eventually grow up with these marks expanding and spoiling their God-given beauty. African people do not deserve to be mutilated in any form whatsoever for the sake of sustaining a culture.
It is wrong, barbaric, and disheartening that certain tribes still refuse to rise from such practices and continue to carry it on till today. Here are 3 tribes in Africa who are known to still practice this barbaric ritual of facial tribal marks:
- The Yorubas of Nigeria: They are spread across six states in Nigeria known as Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Lagos where some are known to practice several types of tribal marks such as the Pele, Owu, Gombo, Abaja signifying different things in their culture. Although the level at which they practiced this act has greatly reduced in most of the States but it has still has not completely stopped.
- The Bor Dinka people of South Sudan: Their tribal mark is said to be used to identify a male child belonging to a particular lineage.
- The Tammari People of Benin Republic: They are known for their ‘Bétamarribé’ tribal mark which signifies plant growth; which is a metaphor for child-bearing and the well-being of one’s household.