Can You Marry Someone With Tribal Marks? – Young Nigerians Share Their Thoughts

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Tribal marks are cultural practice in some parts of Africa, which entails inscription on the body by burning or cutting of the skin during childhood for identification of a person’s tribe, family or patrilineal heritage, and as a symbol of beauty.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, some residents in the Federal Capital Territory on Friday, expressed mixed reactions over marrying persons with tribal marks on their faces.

While some said they find tribal marks on the body particularly on the face attractive, others said it was repulsive, hence cannot marry any one with it.

Miss Clara Omeiza – a beautician/make-up artist

“As a make-up artist, I find the practice of marking a face repulsive and unattractive. Fortunately for us that practice is fast fading as people no longer see the need to mark their child’s face, probably due to other cultural influences or modernization.

“I cannot marry a man with tribal marks or tattoo no matter how wealthy or intelligent he is, because for me to even consider marrying someone, I have to atleast find him attractive not repulsive.”
Ibrahim Adejumo – a civil servant

“Tribal marks rarely exist now even in the villages, because there are some parts of the Yoruba land that has prohibited the act of marking a child’s face as it attracts a heavy fine or imprisonment for the parents or guardians.

“It is a very wicked act and a violation of human right for a parent to mark the face of his or her child in this modern age because we no longer see it as a form of identity or beauty, rather people these days look at it with disdain.”
Danladi Isa – a teacher

“I have a student in my class that has deep etched marks on his face. Most times, you see other children making fun of him and even isolating him from group play.

“As a teacher, I had to make efforts towards educating the children about the history behind tribal marks as a form of identity, as well as teach them that it was wrong to laugh at him.
Kehinde Sunday – a 23-year-old mechanic

“Although I am Yoruba, but I didn’t grow up in my state, I grew up in the north and I was an object of ridicule among my mates because of how deep my tribal marks are.

“I will not allow any of my children to be marked because of the pains I went through, while growing up. Even till date, I find it difficult to get a girl that will like me, find me attractive or even marry me because of my tribal marks.


Timothy Hassan – a historian

“It is so sad that Africans tend to throw away their own ways of life and embrace others, which they feel are superior or better than their own to the detriment of our own cultural practices.

“Tribal marks are beautiful and are symbols of identification, especially when one is in the midst of people from diverse cultures. It shouldn’t be discarded, but should still be practiced.
Miss Patience Yakubu

“I don’t see anything wrong with been in a relationship or even marrying someone with tribal marks.

“I am more concerned about the character of the person, rather than his physique like tribal marks or any form of deformity,” she said.
Yakubu, therefore, advised the public to desist from judging a person based on his physical appearance, but rather on his character or way of life. Do you agree with this or not


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