I know that the symbols on a Jaffa's forehead pertain to the System Lord to which they belong, but why do some Jaffa have black Tattooed symbols, while others have Gold symbols, while yet others have silver or multicolored symbols?

  • 4
    A simple (10 seconds) search with "stargate jaffa mark" would have yielded stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Jaffa_mark which explains everything...
    – Eureka
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 12:03
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    @eureka, thanks, While I did Google search, somehow I missed this article. Other ones I had read only focused on the symbol designs, and not the colors thereof. Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


It indicates the Jaffa's rank. Your basic Jaffa soldier will have the symbol of his System Lord tattooed to his forehead in black ink. The First Prime (or ex-First Prime, for that matter) however, has a golden symbol instead to make him or her stand out from a group of regular Jaffa. Silver marks appear to indicate status of a Jaffa who is neither a First Prime nor a regular soldier.

The golden symbol is created by cutting the skin and pouring molten gold into the wound.

  • So what are the jaffa with the Black and Silver X symbol? images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100715160747/stargate/images/0/… Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 12:06
  • @JaredTritsch: I assume that everything between pure black ink and gold represents an increasingly higher rank or specialisation. For example, the mark you link represents a Jaffa Priest of Aphophis.
    – bitmask
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 12:11
  • @JaredTritsch Jaffa priests aren't ranked the same as Jaffa warriors. Because the priests are so loyal/brainwashed, they were pretty much not explored at all within the series - I'd attribute the dual coloration to their ranking system. Jaffa warriors are all pure gold/silver/black, I don't believe any of them have had mixed coloration.
    – Izkata
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 12:54
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    @JaredTritsch On the other hand, I think the Apophis priests first appeared in one of the first episodes - out of universe, the writers/makeup artists may just have not made the ranking system yet... And then they kept it consistent for Apophis's priests in later episodes.
    – Izkata
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 12:59
  • Wooo, 100th answer :)
    – bitmask
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 13:44

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