Similar to many other Amazonian tribes, the Matsés practice traditional body
painting. The red color comes from a natural dye obtained from the crushed
seeds of the annatto
tree. Sometimes the Matses will mix annatto with animal fat and the
resulting mixture makes for a particularly bright face paint. In addition to
annatto, the Matses will use genipap or
as a black paint. Sometimes they will use wet charcoal to paint their entire
bodies which results in a blue-black color of the skin.
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Text © 2007
Matses.info, Photos © 2007, Bjorn Svensson, all rights reserved, Body Painting.