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A Short History Of Face Painting

Updated on September 21, 2010

A Short History Of Face Painting

You will see many kids roaming around fair grounds, children’s parties and carnivals with painted faces. Face painting is one of the most popular activities for kids these days and booths can be found at almost every event. Kids like face painting so much that they won't mind sitting still with their eyes closed just to have their face painted. Face painting started way back the early days of our ancestors and it's not a newly introduced activity. Face painting had different significant uses before; warriors and ancient tribes used it either for religious purposes, as camouflage or to separate one tribe from the other. Some of the people who used face painting before were the Chinese, Native Americans, and the Egyptians.

When they're going to war or face their enemies, warriors used to paint their faces. They would do this to strike fear in their enemies and t hopefully intimidate them to just give up. Face painting were also used by some tribes to distinguish themselves from other tribes. Depending on the design and colors, the paintings on their faces imposed different meanings. When they are preparing for war, they would paint their faces in black color, while red stood for war and white is used to show or promote peace.

Face painting was also used by some tribes as camouflage for hunting and for going into battle. They would also use paint from a natural source and design their face or sometimes, even their body with the same color as the surroundings. If they're trying to sneak up on the animals they're hunting or hide from their enemies, this was extremely helpful. Even in religious purposes, ceremonies, and rituals, face painting is being used too. Some tribes believed that certain colors of face paint would give those wearing it powers.

Other than being a fun activity for kids during parties and in fairs and carnivals, face painting also has a very colorful history. Far much different from how we're using it today, face painting back then was rooted on power, tribes, and spiritual beliefs. Face painting invokes no harm in children but it would be much better if you could also explain to them the history of face painting.


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