Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post showcases five videos of Xhosa female dancers and Xhosa female singers who are wearing dots and/or other face and body paint. "Xhosa" is an ethnic group in the nation of South Africa.
This post is part of an ongoing pancocojams series about traditional and contemporary African face and body painting.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
Thanks to all those who are featured in this post and all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
DISCLAIMER: This post isn't meant to represent all of the different types of face painting or body painting that is worn by Xhosa females.
These videos don't show any Xhosa males wearing face paint or body paint. I don't know if any Xhosa males traditionally wore any face paint or body paint or if any contemporary Xhosa males wear face paint or body paint.
This post doesn't imply that people performing these dances or members of this showcased choir always wear face or body paint.
A number of traditional Xhosa dance videos show females without clothing covering their breast. The only video in this post that has any scenes of topless females is Example #4. That video has some scenes of includes some scenes in which pre-adolescent girls are topless.
PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S COMMENT (Revised on January 7, 2018)
Since at least 2015, there have been a number of YouTube tutorials about "African Face Painting" (also given as "African Tribal Painting)". Many of these videos focus on painting temporary designs made out of dots, lines, swirls, and/or other geometric figures on one's face and/or body or on another person's face/body. One example of these YouTube tutorials is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0mxolHUa-g&t=78s "African face paint tutorial: DOTS" published by Loumingou Night on Mar 10, 2015.
The appropriateness of Black people and other people in the United States and other Western cultures wearing so-called "African tribal" face and body painting has been and continues to be hotly debated. The videographer in the example given above discusses this topic while painting her face. Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/01/young-paris-response-to-zipporah-genes.html for a 2016 pancocojams post on the subject of whether it's culturally appropriate for Black people in the African Diaspora (and other people) to paint dots and other so-called African tribal designs on their face and/or body.
Rather than add to that debate, I've chosen to focus on questions that continue to be asked in a number of discussion threads of YouTube videos of these "African Tribal Painting" tutorials. This post and some other posts in this pancocojams series addresses the question: "Which African ethnic groups* do these painted designs (or designs like this) come from?"
Most of the publishers of these tutorials respond to these questions by saying that their designs are "inspired" by various (usually unnamed) African "ethnic groups"*.
*Note that I've substituted the term "ethnic group" for "tribe" as I consider "tribe" to be a term that's loaded with all sorts of negative European colonial connotations.
In an upcoming pancocojams series I'll provide some information gleaned from the internet that may be extrapolated to help explain what some traditional African face/body painting and scarification designs might mean.
Use pancocojams's internal search engine or click the "traditional and contemporary African face and body painting" tag below to find other pancocojams post on this subject.
Example #1: Xhosa Girls Dancing
onetruegem, Published on May 18, 2008
These girls are dancing at Guga's Thebe in the Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa
Example #2: Mzansi Youth Choir
Tony Stroebel, Published on Jul 20, 2010
One of the best choirs South Africa has to offer! Performed at the opening of the Fifa 2010 Soccer World cup. Shot with a Canon 5D by Redletter productions.
Example #3: iKusasa - Xhosa Dance
Ikusasa Entertainment, Published on Apr 29, 2015
An example or our traditional Xhosa dance performance
Example #4: IGOLI by Jessica Mbangeni
JESSICA MBANGENI, Published on Feb 11, 2016
The good morals and values of our culture and traditions restore our beauty and dignity.
WARNING: Portions of this video show topless pre-adolescent girls. The women in this video aren't topless.
Example #5: Traditional Dance uMxhentso
caprileefilms, Published on Dec 7, 2016
Traditional Xhosa Dance uMxhentso
Umxhentso has always been a pride to the Xhosa people as they use this type of dancing in their celebrations. These traditional Xhosa dancers are at the royal wedding of Phakamisa Tyali and Bongiwe Kali in Tsolo
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.
Visitor comments are welcome.