16 September 2011

Friday Replay: Bedouin Tattoos| Discovering Our Mark

Friday Replay is where I get a chance to replay some of the posts that I wrote back when the only people reading were my mother and husband. So many of them mean a lot to me, and show my heart a bit more, so much so that I want to share them with the many readers I'm blessed to have now!

Photograph by Annie Griffiths Belt

Isn't she lovely? I've been browsing through the photos on the National Geographic website and stopped when I came across this one. I love how her eyes seem so shapely and young, but her skin is so worn and weathered. She seems like the kind of woman that would keep you laughing through the night if out in the open desert 'round a campire. You know, the brazen old woman that will say it like it is because she realizes life is just too short to beat around the bush.

There's something so honorable to me about nomadic peoples. I love the tribal face tattoos you find among Bedouin and Berber people. I once had tea with a Berber woman that had three lines tattooed down her chin...a permanent reminder of who she belongs to and the life her family lives. I remember being jealous and thinking, "I wonder what my mark is?"

The more I think of it the more terrified of the truth I become. Is my mark the kind of cars my family drives? Is it the label on our clothing? Is it the size of our diamonds or the volume in our hair? My stomach turns and i think again. No. That may be for some, but not for us.

Sit down at my table and I will show you my mark. Let me hand you a fork so you can taste it. So often I get picked on for my love affair with food. But truth be known, it's just my way of holding on to my ancestry. It is my mark.

This Bedouin woman could tell you tales of her families travels across the sand. Caravaning goods from here to there. These stories would warm your heart and feed your soul. Sit down with me and I'll tell you about generations of boisterous women packed in the kitchen, ragging on their men, laughing at themselves, and cooking up a pot of something wholesome.

It's good to finally own your mark.

Question of the Day:
What's your mark?


  1. Gorgeous post, Hannah. One of my favorites :)

    ...And what a beautiful & haunting question to leave us with. What is my mark? How will my children remember me?... How will my children's-children's-children tell stories of their ancestors?

    Thank you for such a great, thought-provoking post for my Friday morning.

  2. You were right to post it again Hannah, it is a great post.
    Our marks? A powerful idea, what will stay of us, what memories will be exchange?

    I love to write so it's maybe what I will leave behind me, my ideas and dreams, pages and pages of thoughts and stories I built up from a photo or a face met on a chilly morning in a train.

    Have a lovely day and thanks for your post!

  3. Hmm, good question...I'm not sure how I would answer that! You're right, that photo is gorgeous. I like that she's combination of feminine and toughness. She has definitely made her mark on the world!

  4. Awesome post Hannah!
    That photo relays sooo many different emotions all at once!
    I hope to leave a mark even if its just words on the internet but i would love to achieve more :o)

  5. my mark is my greek culture. all of it. the food.the philosophy.the mythology. the "everybody welcome" i grew up with...

  6. I think love of food and talent with food is a great mark! I think I can agree with it, that it may be part of my mark as well. Other than that, I think my mark - that is passed from my dad, my sister, me...now also including my sister's husband and my husband - is our musical abilities and that we use them for God and the church. I hope our children and my niece(s) and (?) nephews can also continue this mark. It is what our family is known for.

  7. Great post.. It really made me thinking.. What is my mark? I still don't know what my answer will be..

  8. A great question that I need some more time to ponder.

  9. What a beautiful post. My mark is the work that I do. Talking about tribal tattoos the Maori Ta Moko is beautiful.