Body art is an important element in this society. This art is painted on the skin and applied with magic. They are semi-permanent, only being removed as needed by other magical items. It is not mandatory to wear, but very popular and widely used by men and women. They are gender specific and applied like makeup to enhance characteristics of the individual. However, rather than just being an accessory, it is also meant to tell a story about the person and there place in the world. Common uses include:
- welcoming in the seasons, a new year, or bountiful harvest
- celebrations and festivities, religious holidays
- wealth and prestige
- accomplishments and successes, number of enemies defeated in battle or children birthed into a clan
- rites of passage into adulthood, or applied to bodies representing passage into the next life.
These markings are judged by their beauty and intricacy, as well as the story they tell of the individual or the concepts relevant to this culture that they symbolize. A marking may be pretty to look at, but if there is no meaning behind it, it is meaningless and wasted effort. Important clans may even have unique tattoo specific to their family, and are worn with pride to symbolive their place in the community.
EDIT:The society in question is matriarchial, with clan descent traced through the female line. Women often use art to emphasize female traits, such as wisdom, strength, fertility, intuiton, intelligence, and power. Men, in contrast, use it to emphasize male traits, such as courage, bravery, physical prowess and brawn, honor, victories in battle, etc. Body art can be applied to a number of places, including face, chest, and arms.
How can magical body art be used to designate and judge social status among people? What may be some complications that could come of this and how could they be avoided?