“Express yourself through your art- whether it’s your Drawings in a sketchpad, the shade of your lipstick, clothes that you wear, or tattoos on your skin.” – KAT VON D
Art is a self-expression by people in different forms. It could be dance, music, drawing a canvas or something that soothes your inner self. A tattoo is one of a kind which expresses itself as unique. This is not a modern phenomenon, it dated and introduced from long 18th Century. It has its purpose from culture to culture. It began from tribal once up on a time and has different arguments for the reason behind them. There are true interesting stories that why people started getting inked on their body. Let’s have a look on few.
Tattoo as a Mustache
May be it is discovered in 7000 years ago that love stories are connected to tattoos. The first known tattoo early then is a Mustache on a South American Mummy, from Chinchorro culture. He got the cosmetic tattoo, to impress his lady and be more romantic.
True! It’s so surprising, a mummy named ‘Iceman’ 5300 years ago, got 80% of his body inked. He has 57 tattoos, on lower back, ankles, a cross behind his right knee, and wrist. All these tattoos come under Chinese acupuncture points to treat Rheumatism and gastro intestinal problems, which the ‘Iceman’ was suffering from.
Girl Power Then
It’s a well-versed tradition in Malaysian Borneo, known as upriver people are mostly tattooed. The tattoo artists and the ones getting are only women. They afford leg and arm tattoos and is reserved for powerful women. Usually, a woman getting a tattoo is at 10 years of her age. It begins with her fingers, upper part of her feet, forearms and other body parts. They take four years to complete the art on their body with intervals. No men are allowed getting inked in Kayan tribes.
Re appearing in the West
In the West, Britons inked their body especially on any ceremonies where it was banned by their Pope Hadrian in 787 A.D. Later a sailor and explorer re-introduced tattooing by bringing a Polynesian ‘Prince Giolo’ to London and placed him in the exhibition as a money making attraction.
To mark criminals and offenses they have committed is symbolized on their body. There are different types of tattoos that are inked on them.
14 88 /AB (Aryan Brotherhood) symbolizes Nazi inmates / white supremacist
Cob Web symbolizes long term imprisonment
Tear Drop symbolizes murderer
Five Point Crown symbolizes Latin King’s gang
The Three Dots symbolizes ‘My crazy life’ etc.
Where as in India, different communities have varied traditions regarding this. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Rajput’s, Nagaland and much more with a well-known history of inking. But still, somewhere there is a myth and hurdles to get a tattoo, just based on the Judgment and societal rules. Though our society is modernized, there are people who, still look at them with judging eyes. It considers too much of physical appearance in a negative way than accepting just the way they are. It’s awe inspiring that someone has created art or else how would have we expressed. Let’s not criticize the art on people’s body, but create your own inner self to appreciate that. And stop saying ‘Why are you ruining your body?’ .The answer will be ‘Excuse me! I am not ruining it; I’m turning it more beautiful by sculpturing’.