Friday, March 25, 2016

Tattoo markings amongst Ghilzais


Excerpt from Captain J.A Robinson , "Notes on Nomad Tribes of Esatern Afghanistan", p-14/5



Among the Ghilzais, the system of tattoes is, more or less, a mark of tribal identification. the marks are usually made on faces of the women, but in few cases, they have been observed on the forearms of the men also. Although they are considered to give added beauty to the women, it would seem probable that their original use was to facilitate the identification and recovery of women captured during raids (?). Some of the markings used by various clans of Ghilzais are;


Hotak

(1) Single dot low on middle of forehead and chin, three dots on both temples.

or  (2) Single dot low on middle of forehead and chin


Tokhi

(1) Single dot low on middle of forehead, three dots on both temples.

or (2) A single dot low on middle of forehead.

Or (3) Small almond-shaped marking with dot on centre low on middle of forehead ; four dots on both temples and chin.


Nassar

(1) Four dots low on middle of forehead , on both temples and chin.

or (2) Single dot low on middle of forehead and chin. Four dots on both temples

or (3) Single dot low on middle of forehead and chin


Kharoti

Circle of eight dots with one in center.



Sulieman Khel, Ali Khel and Aka Khel

Trifoliate design of palm leaves emanating from a small circle placed low in middle of forehead ; ring of small dots on both temples and chins


Taraki

(1) A small design representing flower and flower stem with two lateral leaves on the middle of the forehead and a single dot or small circle on chin.

or (2) 'W'-shaped marking with 'V' joined below it in centre of forehead , a single dot on chin.

Or (3) Single dot on forehead and chin and three dots on both temples.