ÍLA (KANNIKE) in-progress

The tribal identity of the people is proven by their facial marks, this project is aimed at telling the stories relating to the extinction of tribal marks in their life and culture which will become history upon total extinction of tribal marks. The gradual extinction of tribal marks has been linked to modernization, they were used for identification, differentiating ethnic groups and the royals. Facial marks are an integral part of the African culture. It is important to understand heritage, root and ancestry which attributes to the importance of carving ones future. This project will seek to answer selected questions and stereotypes relating to tribal marks

Why the tribal marks, are there reasons other than identification?
Discrimination issues
Will they continue the archaic practice to preserve heritage Psychological issues (Self-esteem)

This project will also involve the documentation of the tribal mark history of Kannike Tribe in Kwara state.

Idowu [21] Lives in Gamabri Ilorin, Kwara state which is the center of Islam in Nigeria because of his passion for Islam regular goes for Islamic gatherings on Sundays dressed in his TURBAN. According to Hadiths it’s forbidden to have a scar or tattoo but idowu has been marked from birth for cultural identification purposes which contradicts with Islamic beliefs, Who is to be Blame?

Bolanle (27) Lives in Oja-Gboro Ilorin , Kwara state has Kannike marks and is married to her late husband who is from another tribe in Ondo ,She feels in different about having tribal marks since it has always been a part of the culture .

Due to her inter-ethnic marriage to her late husband scarifications couldn’t be made on Lati’s [5 years old] face because the family decision making regards the society falls on Man which also includes having tribal marks .

Lati (5) years old ,son to Bolanle wasn’t given this marks due to inter-ethnic marriage between his parents .

Fatima [19] Lives in Ipata Ilorin, Kwara State "Cultural Practices on scarifications should be continual because it is who we are ,although I felt insecure about my marks because I thought it made me look less beautiful I've learnt to accept and be beautiful in it.

Abdulkahreem [60] lives in Sulu-Gambari Tribal marks are good for identification of different tribes, the tradition should be carried on from one generation to another regardless of modernization.

Omolara (57) lives at Ipata ,Ilorin Kwara state. These marks have always been part of our culture and it will remain there , Accepting the western culture in order to put an end to tribal marks is total nonsense .

Olaitan (23) Lives in Oja-Gboro Ilorin Kwara state. I regularly get insulted especially when I’m not in my immediate environment , In early beat up someone who mocked me by asking if I fought with a lion. I grew to hate these marks especially when I’m trying to woo a girl , these marks decreases my chances of wooing her .

Lukman (18) lives in Gambari Ilorin Kwara state. A lot of people use the phrase “Shey Mo ko la” which in Yoruba could mean ‘’am I stupid’’ does this means that people with tribal marks are generally termed to be stupid? I learnt to embrace mine despite the mockery

Kudirat (19) lives in ipata, Ilorin kwara state . I never liked it even if I was given this mark called Oga Ara (three marks , one on the forehead and one each on both sides of the cheek) , this one isn’t as extreme as the other ones being given in my tribe. I grew up having confidence issues due to my marks because I was always being mocked about it by others.

Aishat (52) Lives in Oja-Gboro Ilorin Kwara state. It wasn’t a choice , I grew up with it and when I was old enough I questioned my late father and he asked ‘’Do you want to be called a bastard, he said culture must be preserved and I told him that the marks are nothing but extreme.

Mustafeeq, 15, lives in Gambari, Ilorin.

OGA ARA is the type of marks given to children by parents who really want to continue the act of inscribing marks to preserve heritage and also who don’t want their children to have too many marks on their face. Mustafeeq said, “How would people know that I'm from the Kannike tribe? I learnt that without this marks you can be referred to as a bastard.”

Adebisi (52) Oja-gboro Ilorin Kwara. ‘This has always been the culture, its important that it’s preserved, how do we identify you and know you are one of ours? Even with my strong belief about preserving culture and heritage I have witnessed a situation that has probably had an effect on my son.’

In the 90’s when I had my son, after doing the norms of inscribing marks on his face as customs requires I took him to Lagos, he was about 5 years old at the time. Once arriving into Lagos I had numerous eyes staring at me in disgust until one came to meet me and asked how could I have put such marks on a handsome

child face? Who is to be blamed, me or the culture?

Idowu (21) relaxes in his house. ‘I never go outside shirtless if it’s not in my house or my immediate environment, I feel insecure about my body marks.’

In the Kannike tribe, 15 marks must be inscribed on the body. Idowu shows his body marks which form some of the required 15.

Idowu (21) relaxes in his house. ‘I never go outside shirtless if it’s not in my house or my immediate environment, I feel insecure about my body marks.’

In the Kannike tribe, 15 marks must be inscribed on the body. Idowu shows his body marks which form some of the required 15.

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