A short series featuring a few of the last remaining women bearing the tattooed faces. Click on the orange button for the full series.
The Chin people have more than forty sub groups distinguished by their unique facial tattoos and customs. The customs of tattooing originated almost a thousand years ago when neighbors men found the young chin ladies so attractive they were captured for slavery and wife.
As soon as a girl entered the age of puberty, tattoos were applied onto her face as they grow the design stretches across their faces creating different features, which closely resemble a spider web or a sunrise. The practice has been outlawed since 1960s, but some still practiced until around 1980s.
These are very interesting faces. Each woman has a unique expression. I agree with your choice of main from the full eye contact and almost wistful expression. #2 is thoughtful and pensive while #3 is almost flirtatious, #4 seems very tired.
A great series of something that will be disappearing in the next years. I can absolutely understand the law of course. A person should be able to decide alone if she/he wants to walk around tattooed. It has such a major impact in how you look. It would be interesting to talk to them finding out how they felt about it when they were young women.
Everlasting (2019/10/11 05:12:06): Next year we are going to Chin State which was previously off limits to foreigners but now with a permit and local guide itbus possible to make a three day trek into the mountains staying overnight in villages. I am looking forward to this part of our trip very much and will be making a photo documentary of the Chin people. I am even more excited as a foundation in Amsterdam is also interested in what i manage to produce.
An excellent series, great portraits and documentary shot of the traditional practice. Things are always changing, and some are for the better, while I think these women with the tattoo on the face make excellent photo subject, but what a degrading and torture for women, unless they wanted to do it by choice, Anyway, many traditional things that make wonderful photography subject are disappearing. Like in Vietnam you used to see women with that hats and traditional gown riding on bicycles, now it's jeans and helmet and on motorcycles...and in many tribal area of the world traditions is slowing disappearing.