On their return to Africa, Nettie, Samuel, and the two children search for Tashi, who is hiding in the village. It turns out that she has undergone the facial scarring ritual common in the Olinka village, but is now ashamed of her face. Adam is kind to her and tends to her wounds, but Nettie reports to Celie that Tashi is now embarrassed by what she has done, and wonders whether she (Tashi) can love an African American like Adam, though she has been branded with the signs of an African culture she now considers "backward" and embarrassing.
Here, Tashi comes to realize that her physical marks on her face will make her seem like a "savage" to some in the West. This, of course, means that she has a conception of how the West views her own culture. By trying to fit into one culture she thinks that she has now excluded herself from another.