PODAI PAINTINGS OF THE LOMA – GUINEA
Podai is the name given to this form of body art and the rituals where it is practiced. A Podai is a tree which exists in parts of West Africa and the women produce an ink-like paint from the tree and use this to adorn younger members of the community for initiation ceremonies.
‘Podai are masterfully composed images with a completely independent visual language based on the proportions of the human body’ – Explains Karl Heinz-Krieg in his documentation of the Podai paintings ritual.
"What drew me to the image of an adorned, young Loma girl was the detail of the painting on her body and the fact that the paintings are part of an initiation ceremony for young girls of the Loma community. During this rite of passage ceremony the girls live in bush camps outside of the traditional settlements and they are painted by experienced artists, who are women of the community who have practiced Podai paintings for many years.
A key feature of the body painting is the ‘lip closing line’, a line painted across the face above the lips – signifying the girls must remain silent for the duration of the ceremony ’till the dancing is over’...
ABOUT THE ARTIST
“I have created a blog to record my findings through researching tribal traditions of many cultures and how body painting has developed and exists in our society today, from the fashion industry to fine art photography.LIZZIERIGBY.CO.UK
Through exploring ancient ceremonies and incredible artists I hope to gain knowledge and understanding as well as inspiration to apply to Cabasa’s ongoing body painting project."