Monday, July 12, 2010

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

I've been working on this article all day, it talks about beauty perceptions in different cultures. I compiled 10 countries, five of which are tribe-related. My editor rejected 4 of the tribes. I decided to post the four tribes here, because they're really interesting.


1. West Africa: Markings of beauty

The fula people are found in many African countries such as Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, The Gambia, Mali, Nigeria and many others. The Fulani women are considered beautiful by the different Henna tattoos that they draw on their bodies and faces. In addition, the Fulani women blacken their lips with Henna so that they would have blackish lips, which are considered beautiful. They are also known for wearing long flowing robes of different colors and elaborate hairstyles when they’re not covering their heads with turbans.




2.The Amazon: They’re all ears

The Amazonian tribe, Rikbaktsa, lives in the rain forest of Brazil’s Mato Grosso region. The Rikbaktsa men elongate their ears when they hit puberty, which coincides with the appropriate age for them to start hunting. The boys’ ears are pierced in an elaborate ritual celebration; these ceremonies are considered a rite of passage, marking young boys as adults and announcing their eligibility for marriage. In addition, during this ritual, the boys exchange their children names with adult names, furthering their introduction in adulthood.








3.Panama: Colorful wrappings

The Kuna people who reside in San Blas Islands in Panama are known for their beautiful women. The beauty of their women is highlighted even more by them wearing Molas. In Kuna language “Mola” means blouse and it consists of colorful textiles that are stitched together through the methods of appliqué and reverse appliqué. The resulting blouse is one of a combination of colors and shapes that enhance the women’s natural beauty. In addition, once Kuna women hit puberty, they are initiated into the world of adulthood in a ritual celebration. The women are also required to wrap their legs with sheets of colorful beads that are winded tightly around the leg. The beads restrict muscle development, resulting in lean calves, which is considered to be beautiful.




4. New Zealand: masks of beauty

The Maori people of New Zealand are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. They are known for their elaborate face tattooing, which they consider art and it’s called “Moko”. The tradition originally started when the ancient Maori warriors as they used to cover their faces in charcoal before going into battle. Later, it became a coming of age ritual; both men and women are tattooed when they hit puberty and the tattooing became a way of attracting the opposite sex. There are similarities between the tattoos of men and women, but usually the women are more confined to the areas of the chins and lips. The most beautiful of women in the Maori people would have a set of full blue lips.

5 comments:

Remya said...

Wow.
Beautiful. And this just proves the reason why I decided to follow you. You write sense and you know your stuff. Seriously, these ways of describing beauty are certain facts that in my place won't even be considered worth noticing. It just proves how one word can have so many meanings.
Hey thanks man,
these are facts that I would never have come to know in my entire life :)
Take care and keep writing :)

Ze2red said...

I loved the first and third tribes. Really interesting and beautiful.

Sina said...

Remya: thanks, I am glad you liked the post. I found it fascinating and I hope that maybe one day I could see these tribes for myself, although most of them are on their way for extinction.

Ze2red: I liked the new zealand one too, the whole battle to attractiveness transition was mind boggling. Glad you liked it :)

pana11 said...

I am a chumbo (black Panamanian) whom also has Kuna blood and I have quarter sleeve Mola tattoo as that is how Mola was traditionally applied. I love my blended culture and our many art forms and mola designs. I also spent four years in Hawaii playing football for the University out there and will say that along with Mola tattoos, Maori And Moko tattoos are beautiful. I admire their designs and patterns as tney are intricate like Mola. Intricacy and simplicity combined with culture and traditions make the most beautiful art:0)

itspronouncedhasuse said...

Im actually Panamanian and i left wen i was three so i know nothing about it ,other then what my mother and my sisters have told me. But now i know atleast one more thing

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