Lauren Cullivan

Publication Date

Spring 1998


My research on scarification took place in Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region of Ghana. By interviewing some of the different ethnic groups in Wa, I came to understand the varying purposes scarification serves. Additionally, I discovered some of the culture beliefs, values and myths of the Wala people. The following report looks into four main aspects of scarification: marks of identification, medicine, protection, and decoration. Furthermore, it investigates the impacts of the slave trade on the practice of tribal marking. Lastly, this paper will describe current opinions and the future implications of the practice of scarification in Wa.


African Languages and Societies | Arts and Humanities