Portrait & Headshot Photographer • Plymouth, New Hampshire

Scars, Part III

Tribal marks are a dying tradition in Nigeria. They are given for many reasons, including identification or as a way to show wealth. For Nofisat’s family, tribal marks began many generations before her, when stillbirths were common. Her family began to mark their babies as a way of disfigurement so spirits wouldn’t want to take them. Nofisat was given her marks at seven days old, just a few days before her Naming Ceremony.
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For some people today, tribal marks are fashionable, but others feel embarrassed or resentful. Nofisat says, “I turned my marks into a good thing. I’m proud to be recognized. It’s a part of my identity.”
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You can see Parts I and II of this series here:
Part IV is here: https://maundymitchell.com/scars-part-iv/