◊ Australian Aborigines

The Australian Aborigines have the widespread belief that ochre paint has magical powers and is held in regard as being sacred. It is symbolic with blood in secret ceremonies.  Body painting to the  Aborigines was also a process of  shifting their  identity, to be replaced by a representation of their ancestral totem, usually an animal. On a more pragmatic level, smearing the whole body with earth, coloured charcoal and animal fat, ostensibly to camouflage smell when hunting, but also probably  to maintain body temperature. In tropical areas, coating the skin with earth and fat kept sand-flies and mosquitoes at a distance.
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