Peulh's Tattoo

In some West African countries such as Senegal, Mali, Niger, North Cameroon, Guinea and Mauritania, many Peulh (or Fulani) wear facial tattoos as a symbol of their cultural identity. This practice, which has existed among the Peulh since the 19th century, is carried out by women, and excluded men. These tattoos, performed on different areas of the face in different countries, symbolize a rite of passage into adulthood, which turns girls into women.

They can be done on the lips, around the mouth, on the gums, and sometimes on the fingers or feet. The black circle that surrounds the mouth is known to direct attention to white teeth and a beautiful smile. The tattoo has the effect of making a woman more attractive to men.


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace