Scratching the Surface : Female Scarification in the Nuba of Sudan [abstract]
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This proposed paper presentation is based on research I conducted at the University of Florida for my M.A in Art History. My secondary area of interest was African art, and this will paper explore the treatment of the female form in the Nuba culture, specifically body scarification. The Nuba reside in a remote area of the foothills of the Nuba Mountains in the Southern Kordofan Province of central Sudan. A bewildering complexity of people, the Nuba practice Islam, Christianity, and animistic religions. This presentation will examine a tradition sanctioned by the latter ... In this presentation, I seek to educate the MU community about a form of personal adornment used to permanently alter the body by exploring the origins, scarring processes, cultural significance, and aesthetic qualities of female body scarification in the Nuba culture. My talk will also be documentary in nature. The rise of Islam and Christianity and the formation of radical government structures have severely decreased this practice. Even though scarification appears barbaric to western sentiments, it plays a vital role in the Nuba culture as a rite of passage and status marker, which are also important concepts in western cultures.
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