The Tufi tattooing is a beautiful tradition that remains alive in Oro Province. The art of traditional tattooing is dying, but, traditional artists and master tattooist in Tufi have kept the tradition alive for women in this culture. Tufi is known world-wide for its enchanting natural beauty. The town of Tufi is surrounded by reefs. It is one of the top diving spots in the world and a place of rich cultural heritage. The Tapa cloth also comes from Tufi. The town is located in the Eastern Peninsula of Cape Nelson in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea.
When a Tufi girl is ready for marriage she might, for some weeks, enter the hibernating process of getting a facial tattoo. The tattooing is an old traditional practice that has faded away and disappeared in most communities, but there are some areas where the tradition lives on.
The girl stays in seclusion during the time of the application, which is made by a qualified tattooist – sometimes a relative; always a woman. First the pattern is drawn in black, and when the girls’ parents have expressed their appreciation the tattooist starts the actual process. Dulcie at Kafuaruru village and Levinia at Angorogho, two of the still active tattooists, use a modern needle instead of the bush needle that was tapped by a stick, which was the old way. The dyes today are also mixed with modern ingredients that give a stronger…
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