Some videos and articles about current issues affecting West Africans.

TRIBAL SCARS: Elaborate patterns of scar tissue are encountered in West Africa, especially in the back country. These tribal scars are created using sharp blades in painful rituals when a person is quite young.

Each design or pattern represents a tribal identity.

A Kaplika woman.

A Dahomey girl, 1967. Photo by Irving Penn.

Bakutu woman with scarification. Belgian Congo. ca. 1940s / ©C. Lamote

A Bakongo woman.

Africa, c. 1943. Photo by John Atherton. 

Photo by John Atherton.

A young Dinka man of South Sudan. Photo by Jean-Baptiste Sevette.

Central Burkina Faso.


Nigeria. From "Return of the Tribal", by Rufus Camphausen.

(Photo by Jean-Michel Clajot)

Photo of model Oraine Barrett.

Photo of model Oraine Barrett.

A Sarra woman. (Photo by Casimir Zagourski)

Young mother in Mbembe, Cameroon, 1930s.

A Fulani woman, Nigeria. (Photo by Peter Holmes)

A Mbembe woman, Cameroon, 1930s.

Girl from a Umm Bororo tribe. They are nomads with cattle with origins in West Africa.

Tools used in scarification. (Photograph by Jean-Michel Clajot)

Watch a video about scarification in the countryside of Benin:

Did you like that documentary by Belgian filmmaker Jean-Michel Clajot?

Read more about scarification on Leonie Orton's blog: