Today in Nigeria, it is uncommon to see a new born child being given tribal marks after birth. This is due to the fact that civilization has taken over in most parts of the country and many tribes are now in the know that giving tribal marks to a new born child is of little or no significance in the modern world of today.
This is contrary to the belief in ancient past, when it was deemed compulsory and a common practice to give new born children facial marks as a means of identification that the child comes from a particular tribe and family compound.
If your parents were born during the 1900s, you might have noticed some facial marks on their faces also. Those marks are not scars, but marks that they were given at birth by their parents to indicate the tribe they come from.
Not discarding the credibility of these facial lacerations given in ancient past, below are four (4) cocksure reasons why facial marks were given to children in ancient Nigeria:
1. Identification: This is the most common reason why tribal marks were given to new born children in the ancient past. When a woman put's to bed, the proud father or his family members will immediately give the child their tribal marks as an immediate and permanent means of identifying him or her as part of their lineage. Also, it was a means of identifying people of the same tribe and ethnicity.
2. Beautification: This may sound off or strange to children of today's western world, but this was one of the reasons for giving tribal marks in the past. Just the way people are piercing their body parts such as the nose, tongue, lips etc in today's modern world to show a vast means of portraying beauty, tribal marks were given to children in the ancient past as a means of adding to the child's beauty as he or she becomes mature.
3. Healing: Back in the ancient past when the advent of foreign medicine was yet to come to Nigeria, traditional healers made marks and incisions on someone who was sick to cure him or her of the ailment. These marks are made on any part of the body the where the sickness afflicts the person.
4. Spiritual Protection: Not all the marks given to children were entirely for identification, some were also for protection from evil powers and still birth. At tripdownmemorylane, they gave a detailed explanation about the significance of giving marks to new born children for spiritual and religious purposes.
Children who were believed to have been reincarnated (being born once or twice before), were given facial marks in order to protect such a child from dying at a tender age.
Also, when a woman keeps having stillbirth (delivery of a dead child), if she gives birth to a healthy child, the child would be given facial marks to protect him or her from dying like the other stillborns.
All the aforementioned, are few common reasons why children were given facial marks in ancient Nigeria. Though some tribes in the country like the Yoruba and Hausa tribes still practice such beliefs, many who have welcomed civilization and Godly teachings have abolished or ignored such practices in their region.
All images used in this article are for illustration purpose(s) and were all gotten from kwekudeetripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com
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