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Scarification:
Culture and Beauty
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scarface.jpg
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ylw-text.gif Scarification: Culture and Beauty Burkina Faso

Facial scarification in West Africa is popular among many tribes, and is performed for several purposes. Culturally, the practice dates back thousands of years, and has been used to identify tribes (forehead), families (cheeks), individuals (chins), and even to express personal beauty (accents on lines). Although it is technically outlawed today due to notions of brutality, especially against women and children, the real cause for its demise is modernity: younger people desire to be more like Americans and other western cultures. Through the influence of Peace Corps volunteers and younger adults who visit and/or live with the tribes in their villages, these and similar rituals, such as female circumcision, are experiencing reduced participation.

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IPTC Data
Country-Primary Location Name: Africa
Credit: Dan Heller
Object Name: scarface.jpg
By-line: Dan Heller
Copyright Notice: Photo (c) www.danheller.com
Keywords: scarface, montage, africa
Location: Mali
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