Home Institution

Connecticut College

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

Ghana: History and Cultures of the African Diaspora


My research on tribal marking and face scarring took place in various parts of the country, but much of the information comes from the residents of Gwollu. By interviewing different people belonging to different regions and ethnic groups throughout the country, I was able to discover the main uses for marking: medical use, decoration, spiritual protection, and tribe or family identification (these marks specifically for ID can be referred to as tribal marks). This paper sweeps over the origins of marking and how it became quite important during slave raiding, but has various uses and implications in modern times. This paper will delve into a mixture of individuals’ views of marking and how it affects certain people’s lives, depending on the type of mark received. The findings in my research point to a diminishing of the practice of marking for reasons like prejudice, government regulations, and medical complications. Further, my research will give opinions on why the practice should or should not be considered a negative/ positive practice. Lastly, I will offer what may be future implications for scarring and tribal marking, as well as suggestions for future research to add to this body of knowledge.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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