ritual scarification which occurs in many African Tribes as well as in Papua New Guinea among the Sepik River tribes.

The reasons for such body modifications vary. In the New Guinea tribes, the boys (and some men), fast for a period of days in preparation before being cut along their backs, the cuts are then anointed w/special goopy stuff that makes it scar and when the scars heal into keloids, they resemble the backs of a crocodile. However, in order to pass the initiation, they have to lay there silently, w/o crying out, during the whole process, in order to be welcomed into the tribe as men.

Alternatively, tribes in Africa cut up their new born babies faces in ritual scarification as a way to safeguard them against blindness and other eye diseases while still others use them to prove the strength of a tribes men to endure pain and the ability of a tribes women to endure childbirth. And still others consider them a mark of beauty, like the lip plates worn by other tribes.

digital collage, 2009

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