05 January 2017
For hundreds of years, face painting has been used across cultures, from the Picts of Scotland to the Lakota Tribes of North America, the Zulu in Africa, the Maori in New Zealand, and the Aborigines in Australia, India and other areas of Asia and South America. Wherever early peoples formed tribal groups, they would adorn themselves with symbols or color, communicating to others their religious and spiritual beliefs.
Face painting has evolved over the centuries from being largely symbolic with special meanings to being used as camouflage by the military or as theatrical makeup. The opera was the first theatrical venue for face painting to enhance the character. Later clowns became a specialty in the circus. Nowadays women will not leave the house without putting on “their face.”