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Tribal Mark in African Culture

This article examines the issue of tribal mark as applicable to Africa, particularly the associated problems.

There is no gainsaying that Africa is distinct among the other continents in the world, being culturally blessed. One of the cultural practices in some African countries today is the act of putting tribal mark on the face of their children to identify their races, ethnic groups and cultural background. Today, African citizens can recognise themselves anywhere in the world by the kind of mark(s) on their faces. In Yoruba ethnic group in Nigeria, various kinds of marks abound. Some are in straight line, some in diagonal form while some are in group, among others.

As much as tribal mark has cultural and beautification advantages, there is more to it than the beauty it adds to the face of a child. Many are arguing that such marks often disgrace them and make them to be shy in the public. Those that are crime inclined often abhor tribal marks because it can easily help in identify them among others in the public.

A major disadvantage of tribal mark is the fact that it can transmit HIV virus, particularly when a contaminated equipment is used to make it on the face of a child. Also, when it is improperly handled, the wound can encourage tetanus infection, which can ultimately lead to the death of a child. 

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