Saturday, June 27, 2015


Tribal marks are cuts inserted on an individual's face to easily identify the tribe he or she comes from. It is a very common practice in Nigeria. I was told it was because of war, that tribes and parents 'design' the face of their children in case they get lost and to avoid being killed mistakenly. I was also told, it was done to wave away evil from a very sick child, and some represents covenant with the deities of the village before the acceptance of Christianity. Some tribal marks are so 'loud' that it disfigures the face! One day, I saw a  fair beautiful lady, with three long wide vertical marks on both cheeks! I immediately knew the tribe she was from! But at what price? While some are barely visible until you take a closer look ... like mine.

I have tribal marks, common to my people from Edo state. It is just 2 small straight lines on both cheeks. Times have changed and many don't enforce such practice on their children anymore, but, few still do! In this day and clime, it is a crime against mankind for any parent to inflict such on their children!!! This is a culture that need to be expunged out because it adds no value to the person, rather, it makes the person to be so self conscious, which might affect his/ her confidence or self esteem, especially for the females, because we live in a society, where ladies are judged by their appearance first, before their intelligence! 

Infact! It was a topic of discussion with my guests today, and this post was already in my draft yesterday! My guest was not happy when he saw tribal marks on a 10 year old boy here! He pondered why should a parent do so, in this civilized era? We have a casual friend who has 2 long and wide parallel tribal marks from under his eyes to his lips. He is not happy with what his parents did to him, because, it can be mistaken for knife scars to foreigners and that is a negative identity for a black man!

I am proud of my tribe, but like I said in this culture post, some practices are bad! Let us rather improve on the positive ones. Which reminds me; What are the positive cultures in Nigeria and your tribe which you can share with us? 

Thank you for reading.