Last Generation

Unmasking the mesmerising tattooed ladies and personalise their living art is short lived.

The 500-year old tradition of tattooing young ladies’ faces ceased some 50years ago. This tattooing first repelled an ancient king’s desire for women from the region. The markings then transformed into an art of individual beauty before the practise was outlawed.

Girls were tattooed at a young age. The inked patterns – covering cheeks, nose, eyelids, forehead, upper and lower lips and chin – range from dotted lines, spiderwebs, flowers or rings to fully-blackened faces. The methodology was rudimentary performed by a specialist from their native village using needles and sometimes thorns to impregnate the buffalo bile pigment.

The painful task took a couple of days and lasts a lifetime.

Mark R Lamb | Earth Soul Images