Since tribal marks are used mainly to differentiate ethnic groups, they vary from one clan to the other.There are marks on the cheeks, forehead, on the temple, under the chin and so on.These marks can be in vertical lines, horizontal, or both. They could also come in slanted lines on both cheeks. These marks are in patterns based on the ethnic group of their bearer and have different meanings and different names.
Yoruba tribal marks is really an interesting feature of Yoruba nation; although no longer common or in vogue, it is fast disappearing due to extant laws, and international campaign.There are various tribal marks, by different ethnic groups within the Yoruba nation:
1. Ijesa (a town in Osun state) people are known by “pele.” Pele is a-four-horizontal-line; an-inch-long mark made on the cheeks on both sides of the mouth.
2. The Ondo natives of Ondo State are identified byhalf-an-inch-vertical lines on both sides of the nose down to the mouth (marks are thick and long) called “Soju”. Another tribal mark which can also be found in Ondo state is called “Jaju” which is just a single horizontal line on both sidesof the face.Other Yoruba ethnic groups have different types of facial marks;
3. Ogbomosho natives of (Oyo State) are identified by multiple straight marks drawn from the head which curves on the lower chin straight to the corner of the mouth on both sides of the face called “Gombo”Also prone to Ibadan, Oyo town and the Ogbomosho People (all these three towns are located in Oyo State) is a tribal mark called Abaja. Abaja is made up of four horizontally drawn lines with two or more vertical lines standing on the topmost horizontal line.
Other types of tribal marks that exist among the Yorubas includes Ture, Bamu, Keke, among others.
In Igboland, tribal marks are scarification process called igbu ichi, and scar called ‘ichi’. However, tribal marks in Igboland cannot be compared to that of the Yorubas as they were much smaller in size and fewer in number of markings.