Mussiro is a thick white paste extracted from the roots of the ‘N’tunkuti’ tree, traditionally worn by Makua women of Mozambique and Tanzania.
Historically it was worn to signify virginity or to indicate menstruation or an absent husband or sexual availability. It was used in ceremonies to mark the beginning of womanhood or in funerals.
Mussiro is also valued as a beauty treatment and is used from the puberty onwards to protect the skin against acne and wrinkles:
European history has numerous examples of powerful women who used a mask of pale makeup to assert their high social status and to maintain power in patriarchal societies: Catherine de Medici (1519 – 1589) wife of Henry II of France, Queen Elizabeth I of England (1553 -1603), Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) wife of Louis XVI of France:
One of our oldest bipedal hominin ancestors, Australopithecus arafensis, e.g. ‘Lucy’, lived in eastern Africa about 3.8 and 3.0 million years ago.
According to the ‘Recent African Origin model’ modern humans began to migrate from Africa between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago:
According to Shi et al. the first wave of human migration into Japan occurred more than 30,000 years ago, via Tibet: