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.
Scarification in Douala, Cameroon.
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)
A Mbembe woman, Cameroon, 1930s.
A Fulani woman, Nigeria. (Photo by Peter Holmes)
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?