Extreme Beauty: Scarification

We’ll admit, women in America go to extreme lengths to look beautiful these days. Lip injections and Botox are not a walk in the park, but we’ve found some gals who take cosmetic surgery to the extreme. Introducing scarification, aka creating patterned scars on your body.

Like breast implants to many Americans, some sub-Saharan cultures view scarification as a beauty enhancer.  Others scarify to convey elements of their tribe’s culture and religious beliefs. A few cultures, like the Baule people of the Ivory Coast, won’t even let you be a part of their community unless you scarify your body.

As with cosmetic surgery, there are many different types of scars that can be created, some subtle and some pronounced. If you’re squeamish, don’t read on. Otherwise, here are a few different types of scarification.


Back Keloid
Keloids are formed by cutting the skin with a knife or razor, pulling the skin up with a fish hook and stuffing the wound with soot. The skin heals over the soot, creating prominent bumps. The Tiv people of Nigeria are among the groups who find keloids aesthetically pleasing and create motifs on their bodies out of them.