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Cultural and Tribal Face Painting In Western countries such as the UK, face painting is usually just associated with school fêtes or perhaps too much make up, but around the world there are a wealth of cultures and tribes who use face painting for other reasons. It is thought that humans started painting their own faces and bodies before they even started painting on rocks.. in other words a very long time ago. The reasons for these cultural or tribal face painting designs can vary from place to place, but what they share is a sense of belonging and tradition. Some designs are intended as camouflage whilst others are intended to scare fighting opponents. Some cultures use face painting as a simple adornment whilst others use it for specific dancing or music rituals. Looking at the different designs all over the world is a real eye opener to the diversity of people on the planet. The only way to see all these wonderfully different people across our planet is to get out there and travel. Here`s a look at some of the different cultures who use face painting. Indian Kathakali Dancers Kathakali is a traditional theatre and dance act which uses very specific face painting and clothing. Kathakali is a large part of Keralan tradition and has been around since the 17th Century. Kerala is considered to be one of the most beautiful and pleasant areas of India to travel around, making it a great place to consider for a gap year destination. Be sure to catch one of these Kathakali performances whilst you are there. The face painting is incredibly elaborate and also follows certain rules. The makeup represents the facets of each character and plays a large part in creating the mood of the piece. Maori Face Painting If you are considering a round the world trip during your gap year or travels, then New Zealand is an unmissable destination. Whilst you are there you can learn about the fascinating culture of the country`s indigenous Maori people. Rather than just face painting, Maori`s have historically tattooed patterns onto their face, a method known as Ta-Moko. The distinctive black patterns represent social class and although it decreased after European settlement, it is certainly making a comeback. Kara Tribe This African tribe live on the banks of the Omo River in Ethiopia and probably have some of the most varied and intricate face paintings anywhere in the world. Much of the face and body decoration is carried out for a celebration or ritual of some sort. A trip to any corner of the globe will open your eyes to the diversity of the planet`s cultures. Cultural face painting is just one way we can see how different cultures have held on to certain traditions or assess what is important to them. Reasons for cultural face painting may be purely aesthetic, to denote social rank or for celebrations and rituals. If you plan on doing any globetrotting soon, then discovering different cultures and practices such as tribal face painting will certainly be a great way to fill your photo album. Always remember to be respectful of different traditions and cultures whilst you travel.
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