Tuesday, 26 February 2008 1:14 PM

Facial Design Marks Identity, says Grace

The facial design, a distinctive mark common to the people of Malaita Province, is not just a design - it is in fact a permanent mark which identifies where that particular individual is from.

Grace Rina, a lady from the langalanga lagoon in Malaita province, spoke to Solomon Times on the practice of facial scraping, a practice passed down from their ancestors.

"The marking of face is not compulsory for the people in langalanga...but the mark is important as it represents the identification of a particular tribe in an ethnic group."

"The mark that I have represents an oar of a war canoe, used in the traditional days by the langalanga people," said Grace with Pride.

Grace said that the scrapping of the face is done when one is a baby. "It is usually done when they are three days old, or a week old." Grace said that the preparation for the facial scraping is a meticulous process. "The facial scraping is made using a sago palm leaf dipped in a cream made out of lime mixed with the juice of a young coconut fruit...it is a process that takes time to prepare"

Grace said that the mark will stay with the individual forever, a permanent reminder of her identity "something which one should carry with dignity and pride."