This Picture really got me wondering how the practice of tribal marks began in Nigeria, what was the motive behind it, was it a fashion trend, a beauty mark, for identification or trade? My discoveries will wow you.
Tribal marks are specific marks which comes in different shapes and sizes, commonly found on the face; which gives it another name of “facial marks”.
According to history, tribal marks practice in Nigeria dates back to the colonial era when the colonial masters were capturing people and taking them to foreign countries for slavery. People started giving family members marks to identify and recognise them when if they were captured and later found.
Thus, these permanent marks became ways of identification passed on from family to family, members of the same village, identification of royal lineage and people from the same lineage. Different lineage, town, and village have different tribal marks, some with similarities and some totally different.
Reasons For Tribal Marks
Like mentioned above, tribal marks were mainly for identification. At some point in history, every clan/village have their distinct tribal marks and that made it easy for either of them to identify their kith and kin in the event of invasion, war, getting lost, or been captured for slavery.
But later, it became a form of creativity and tattoos on bodies, especially the women. In fact, at some point, women with better looking were valued possessions and were more expensively married.
Tribal marks are mostly given to people at a very young age most especially when they are babies. This is because, at that age, the child doesn’t have a say on decisions to giving him/her tribal marks.