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  1. Body alterations

  2. BODY PAINTING • The African Face Painting Tradition • By an eHow Contributor • African Men Painting faces with different patterns and symbols has long been part of the tradition of many cultures, including the African nations. Face painting, which is usually complemented with body paint, is done according to tribal rites and cultural activities of specific African tribal groups. This tradition also carries different purposes and meanings for different tribes such as hunting, specific events, rituals and tribal status. • Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |

  3. EfikFace and body painting carry a lot of symbolism to the Efik tribe. This ethnic group, which resides primarily in southeastern Nigeria, uses face painting to signify love and purity. During the old times in the tribe, the painting of faces was a way of expressing the tribe native’s own identity. Face painting also included patterns for identifying families and clans. In some cases, face painting also symbolizes the happiness of giving birth to a child. For single women, a painted face is the equivalent of an initiation rite for the bearer to formally enter the society of women. For families, painted faces also indicate their happiness for some good news they have received. The native female dancers, called Abang, use face painting as way of expressing their beauty, love and complete femininity.Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |

  4. XhosaThe Xhosa tribe obtains the paint they use on their face from an area called Hogsback. They call this place Qabimbola, which means red clay on the face. The purposes for these tribal people to paint their faces are varied. Some use it as a protection from the sunlight. The women put white paint on their faces as a mark for beauty. During the manhood initiation rite called Abakwetha, the young men have their faces painted first with white mud. After the circumcision ceremony, their faces will be covered with mud signifying their readiness for complete adult male responsibilities.Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |

  5. PondoThe Pondo tribe in Pondoland of the South African region celebrates the tradition called umgidi. This refers to the initiation of a young woman to become a diviner or priestess of the tribe. The final initiation day is marked by the woman appearing at her homestead naked to the waist with her face and torso painted with white clay embellished with idwabe leaves. The paint pattern created on her torso and face symbolizes her link to her ancestors who are believed to be the reason for her illness and recovery. The women dance to express gratitude to her ancestors for restoring her health.Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |

  6. KaroThe Karo tribes located in Southern Omo Valley in Ethiopia are known to be masters of traditional body and face painting. They paint their faces and bodies as a valuable part of their dance feast and ceremonies such as for courtships. They use pulverized white chalk, black charcoal, yellow, ochre and red earth to create striking and elaborate painting patterns to emulate the plumage of the guinea fowl. These patterns are usually traced by just using their hands and fingers.Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |

  7. WoodabeThe Woodabe tribe, also called the Bororo tribe, is a group of pastoral nomads found in the eastern Niger. The tribe celebrates the Gerewol festival, a special venue that gives men the chance to meet and attract women in their tribe. During the celebration, competitions take place in the form of a beauty pageant where the women are the judges and the men are the candidates. The Woodabe men paint their faces yellow or red and their lips black during their annual dance ceremonies to increase beauty and appeal.Read more: The African Face Painting Tradition |


  9. The Maasai (sometimes misspelled "Masai") are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known of African ethnic groups, due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near the many game parks of East Africa.[2] They speak Maa (ɔl Maa),[2] a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer, and are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania: Swahili and English. The Maasai population has reported as numbering 840,000 in Kenya in the 2009 census, compared to 377,000 in 1989 and 400,000 in 2000. THE MASSAI JUMPING CEREMONY- WARRIORS

  10. Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human body for non-medical reasons, such as sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, aesthetic reasons, denoting affiliation, trust and loyalty, religious reasons, shock value, and self-expression.[1]. It can range from the socially acceptable decoration (e.g., pierced ears in many societies) to the religiously mandated (e.g., circumcision in a number of cultures), and everywhere in between. Body art is the modification of any part of the human body for spiritual, religious, artistic or aesthetic reasons.

  11. Scarification Scarification is a permanent form of body decoration that perfects the body in much the same way as cosmetic surgery. It involves puncturing or cutting patterns and motifs into the dermis or upper levels of skin. When the cuts heal, scars remain. Different tools produce different types of scars, some subtle, some pronounced. For example, cutting the skin with a razor and then pulling the skin up with a fishhook or thorn yeilds large, raised keloids (scars). Soot, used as a sterile irritant, can be rubbed into the open wounds to make the scarring even more prominent.

  12. Tooth Alterations Many cultures alter the shape or alignment of the teeth. Such enhancements include pulling teeth, filing them horizontally, filing them to sharp points, dyeing them, and repositioning them. One modification-filing the teeth to a sharp point-is practiced in several African countries. Whereas both the lower and upper teeth can be filed, most commonly it is the upper incisors that are shaped. This procedure is often carried out at puberty or just prior to marriage.

  13. LIP PLATES - In the Name of Beauty - Southwest Ethiopia Southwest, Ethiopia, women altered themselves for a husband. {Tribal Alteration is again becoming the style for some modern people who see it as a spiritual rite.}

  14. Neck Rings - "The Long Neck Tribe" of Burmese-Thai The women walk slowly and stately as if in a dream. From the age of 6, each year a few rings are snapped around a young girls neck until 20 rings in all have created a long giraffe neck. Only on their wedding night do the women remove the rings.

  15. CHINESE FOOT BINDING – In the name of beauty Over 1000 years ago the prince's concubine, Yao Niang, walked so gracefully it appeared as if she was "skimming over the top of golden lilies." Chinese Foot Binding became all the rage. Suddenly every man wanted a woman with beautiful 3 to 4 inch "Lotus Blossom" feet. Young girl’s feet were wrapped tightly with cloth binding. This stunted foot growth from the age of 6 yrs old. As young girls endured their pain, they embroidered and beaded tiny slippers in preparation for their reward, a "Cindarella prince" husband. In the name of beauty women altered themselves. Here are two tiny pairs of 4 to 5 inch women's shoes

  16. TINY 16 - 18 INCH WAISTS WERE CREATED BY CORSETS SO TIGHT THEY INJURED INTERNAL ORGANS. BOTTOM RIBS WERE REMOVED IN THE NAME OF BEAUTY. A 2008 model's blog reports a new procedure is being done by an L.A. surgeon for models. Their bottom ribs are removed to give the appearance of a sleek svelte waist line. This procedure is nothing new. A few Victorian women of wealth and drama had thier bottom ribs removed. In these days sugery was often risky and led to infection. In the name of beauty they altered them selves.

  17. Tattooing Plastic surgery Piercings Body expansions

  18. Beecroft

  19. Body alterations in art

  20. Shirin neshat

  21. Cindy Sherman

  22. Orlan

  23. What alterations would you and wouldn’t you do to your body?

  24. Rebecca Horn