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Global 21 fourth quarter 2015

and social status. Alongside clays of different hues, roots, berries and tree barks are ground and made into a paste that is then used as face paint. While different tribes have their own unique methods of body painting, the paint is traditionally applied in accordance with a ritualistic order, beginning with the nose, using only the index finger and middle finger for application, and then spanning out to the forehead, chin and eyes. Sometimes the whole face would be plastered with mud, leaving holes for the eyes and mouth, while warriors tended to use coloured clay, with each tribe displaying its own designs for ceremonies and battle. Even as the traditional practices of tattooing are dwindling, a new and popular type of tattooing is taking their place. Particularly in the West, tattoos are becoming increasingly commonplace expressions of identity, personal rather than cultural, reflecting favourite bands and television characters as well as lovers’ names. The world is modernising and taking the practice with it; one thing that seems certain is that, while ancient practices might die out, tattooing itself will not be left behind. Arena Arts Right: Mehndi, the traditional art of drawing with henna, is used as part of the bride’s wedding rituals in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka Below: Mãori warriors at a haka on Waitangi Day in Waitangi, New Zealand. The facial markings denote rank © Altin Osmanaj / Shutterstock.com © Patricia Hofmeester / Shutterstock.com www.global global four th quar ter 2015 -br ief ing.org l 51


Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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