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2021-03-14

Cross tattoos on faces of North African women

I remember being surprised to see women with crosses tattooed on their faces when I was in the Peace Corps in Tunisia.

I came to realize that North Africa had been very Christian under the Romans. In fact the dirtiest story in Boccaccio’s Decameron involves a Christian monk and a young women living in Gafsa (then called Capsa).

Unfortunately until today, I didn’t seem to have any photograph of a woman with such a tattoo. Then, reading a web page about Albert Camus and the people of Kabylie, I found such a photo:

[[kabyle-woman-w-cross-tattoos.jpg|Kabyle woman with cross tattoos on her cheeks]]

Another photo found recently in the FB group La Tunisie d’Antan:

[[crosses-on-cheeks.jpg|Found recently on FB]]


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The Dirtiest Story in the Decameron When I was living in Gafsa, back in 1964-66 on my first tour in Tunisia, I got a copy of Boccaccio’s Decameron. I got it because my French knowledge