Face painting is not only a fun activity for children and adults, but it is also an ancient tradition for many cultures such as Native Americans, who used the makeup as the identifying mark of a warrior. Native American face painting is still used today in religious ceremonies because it is considered a theatrical way to change identity and augment costumes.
Native American Warrior
Use red as a base paint, covering the whole face. This vibrant color is considered violent, symbolizing war in some tribes. To get this look, paint a thick, horizontal black stripe across the eyes. Outline the stripe first to make sure the lines are straight and parallel.
Among other Native American tribes, black was the color of the living, indicating that warriors would come back alive and victorious. To get this look, start with the cheeks, where you can use an arrow to indicate the strength of the warrior's life force and wolf paw prints.
According to the Mantaka American Indian Council, Comanche tribe women used face paint as well as the men for various theatrical designs. To get this look, Use a small paint brush and paint a nickel-sized red circle on each cheek. Carefully paint a thick orange band around each circle. Using a finger, paint yellow under the eyes and on the upper lids. Be careful not to get any paint in the eyes. Use a finger or a cotton swab to rub red paint on the insides of the ears.
Mohave women painted themselves with either red or yellow color. To paint traditional Mohave Coyote's Teeth, dip your index finger in red or yellow paint and draw a vertical line down each cheek, with many small lines crossed through. To create the rainbow pattern, paint the cheeks red from the jawline up to the cheekbone and from the middle of the ear to about an three inches away from the nose on either side. Draw a vertical line in the same color of paint from under the eye down to the jawline on both sides.
For easier paint removal, rub a thin layer of petroleum jelly onto the skin before applying face paint.
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images