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People have used pattern and shapes to decorate their homes, weapons and their bodies for thousands of years. The use of pattern and shape as decorations probably dates back before the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The ancient peoples of long ago wanted to improve their environment and so painted patterns on all their possessions. Tribes from all over the world use patterns for jewellery, treee carvings, clothes and body paintings. Look below to see some examples of pattern and shape used by different peoples

Shape and Pattern used on people

Face decoration   Butterfly Pattern  
       

Head and neck decoration

 
Butterfly pattern
 
African Decoration
 
Surma from Ethiopia
 
 
Surma people of Ethiopia
Traditional African face decoration
     
Arm Tattoo
 
Ear Painting
     
Tattoo on arm
Ear painting

Learn more about shape at the Artist's Toolkit

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