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Johan Gerrits | all galleries >> Mali and Ghana >
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21-DEC-2004

Canon EOS 20D
1/80s f/8.0 at 52.0mm iso200 with Flash full exif

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Johan Gerrits06-Mar-2005 14:25
Thanks Retha for all your compliments, The women from the fulani (Peul) tribe tattoo the area around there mouth (only in Mali).
Adornment to the Fulani is part of their culture and enjoyment of living and is performed with a lot of imagination and ingenuity equally by male and female. The material used for facial make up are usually local-powder, lipstick, tattoo, henna, etc- while the personal ornaments are both foreign and local; they are usually strikingly bright and flamboyant.
The Fulani self-adornment matches their natural beauty.
They have very strong family ties and they are strongly united by the principle of Pulaaku. Pulaaku is a rather complex and very strong axiom that dominates the Fulani behaviour throughout life.
As a race, they are of a disputed origin, a mixture of Semitic, Arab and Caucasian stock; tall, slender and elegant.
Although there is a distinction between the two sexes, it is often difficult for an outsider to tell, as the use of lipstick and eye lining is the same.
Retha 06-Mar-2005 02:55
Amazing gallery, Johan...can't wait to see more. I am wondering if you know what the significance is of the wide dark smudge surrounding the lips of some of the women...Does it signify marital status or something? or is for a cosmetic appeal? I think this and the few others in your gallery showing the same are the first time I have ever seen this. Do you know what tribe these women are from?