Essay about The Cultural Art of Body Art

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For a long time now body art and decoration has been a custom in many cultural groups. Through research we have learned about the different types of body art and ornamentation such as permanent and nonpermanent tattooing, scarification, and piercings. These forms of body art and ornamentation are done for a variety of reasons, ranging from identification purposes to religious rituals. “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” (Schildkrout, 2004). The process of ornamentation and body art is usually a painful experience, but it is…show more content…
Secondarily, they are seen as a symbol of beauty or a derogatory symbol to keep troublesome kids alive. In his article Orie states that “Every Yoruba is born into a patrilineal clan” (Orie, 2011). When the children are born their parents decide when the scarification will take place, this usually happens between the age of three weeks to three months. The procedure is done by an oloola or akomola which is a professionally trained specialist. The procedure is said to be performed at dawn to help minimize the loss of blood, dawn being the coldest part of the day. The patrilineal stripes declare the clan membership of the children, and ensure that they are not denied the entitlements and rights of the clan members. There are many differences in the length, depth, spacing, and the placement of the stripes on the face. It may seem difficult to be able to be able to tell so much information about someone simply from the stripes on their face, but as Orie explains, for those that can read the traditional stripes, a brief look at someone’s face is enough to identify the town, regional affiliation, or family of that person (Orie, 2011). In the Maori culture of New Zealand, tattoos are distinct and unique, not only in their design, but also their significance. Palmer and Tano explain in their article that there are two methods that are involved when creating a moko tattoo. There is the method of carving
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