In this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 photo, Marhich Rkia Ali, 48, displays tattoos on her arm as she poses for a portrait, in the town of Anregui, near Azilal, central Morocco. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
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In Morocco's Middle Atlas Mountains, an ancient tradition is fading. The distinctive tribal tattoos that indigenous Amazigh women acquired in a coming-of-age ritual are slowly disappearing as their bearers age and die.Strictly observant Muslims and women who want to be modern have shunned the practice, which dates to pre-Islamic times. Today, the tattoos largely are found on older Berber women who farm in rural areas.However, the claim is widely disputed since the tattoos predate the colonization of Morocco.Today, as tattoos etched decades ago grow fainter on the faces of women grown old, so, too, have they waned in social acceptance. Growing awareness that some branches of Islam prohibit tattoos has caused some women to try to have theirs removed.
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