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Personal Adornment: Characteristics: The body can be transformed in both temporary and permanent ways: painted, tattooed, scarified and marked in a variety of ways. The adornment of the body indicates status, personal and group identity. Often done to beautify, complement,

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Personal Adornment:

Characteristics:

The body can be transformed in both temporary and permanent ways:

painted, tattooed, scarified and marked in a variety of ways.

The adornment of the body indicates status, personal and group identity.

Often done to beautify, complement,

and enhance the body, sometimes for spiritual empowerment.


Nuba Body Painting

Characteristics:

Nuba peoples are found in southern Sudan and are hunters.

Painting primarily done with yellow and red ochre but white and black are also used.

Practiced by men and colors and designs reflect membership

in particular age grades and family.

Designs inspired by nature and contain characteristics of local plants and animals.






Ritual of Imori,

Discerning the destiny

Yoruba Peoples,

Nigeria




Kuba King

Found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Regalia made from cowrie shells and

different colored beads, feathers, raffia, leather, and iron bells.



Olowo of Owo in

Ceremonial regalia

with retainers

Owo, Yoruba

20th century


Hausa Royalty

Found in northern Nigeria.

Elaborately embroidered cape.

White turban and clothing style demonstrate

influence of Islamic designs from North Africa.


Hausa Royalty,

Hausa, Nigeria

Cotton, velvet

20th century


Yoruba Ruler (Oba)

Wears a beaded crown with beaded veil.

Veil protects viewers from the power of the ruler.

He holds a beaded staff of office.

Birds on crown represent the mystical powers of women and the ruler's authority.


Orangun of Ila,

King of Ila with beaded crown with veils,

Yoruba Nigeria


Fulani Woman from West Africa

Elaborate gold earrings worn by women are an indication of wealth and status.

They reflect the importance of gold in the trans-Saharan trade



Fulani woman with

Elaborate earrings








Woman with facial marks,

Kamo Village, Northern Nigeria

20th century




Divination Priest with beads

Yoruba, Nigeria

20th century


Sango Priest with braided hair

Yoruba, Nigeria

20th century


Ilari-palace messengers,

Oyo Nigeria

20th century



Fulani woman with elaborate coiffure

Futa Djallon Region,

Guinea



Ejisuhene Nana Diko Pim III,

Wearing the great Warrior shirt

And Hat with amulets

Photo: Doran H. Ross



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