Body Art: A Means for Self Expression
African body art uses the human body as
a way to express an individual's status, spiritual beliefs,
or ethnic affiliation. It can be created on the body itself
in the form of tattoos, scarification, body painting, or coiffures.
Body art can also be created for wear on the body in the form
of garments or jewelry.
African body art changes the wearer into an object shaped by
color, movement, textures, patterns and designs.
Sometimes body art can have protective symbolism, created to
help a person during dangerous life changes such as movement
from childhood to adulthood.
For centuries, the African body fueled many Westerners' prejudices
about Africans. The image of "naked savages" long poisoned the
relationship between African and Western peoples and lead to
many Africans abandoning their own distinct attire in favor
of Western dress.
Today many Africans embrace a variety of traditional forms of
body adornment, creating a sumptuous visual display and turning
each decorated person into a vibrant and unique work of art.
For more information on body art, call Corinne