Geographical spread of the tattoo



Tattoos of the American tribesmen

Tattoos on the faces of the Eskimos

Almost two hundred years ago, the Eskimos in Asia have drawn tattoos on their faces that looked very similar to the tattoos we make on our bodies nowadays. The lack of difference between the tattoos back then and the today’s tattoos, demonstrates the long existence of the tattoo art. Despite all the changes that the world has gone through, the tattoos have not changed their appearance much.

The only people who had made the same tattoos as the Asian Eskimos lived on the Burlington islands and in west America (the west American Alaskan Eskimos). The Eskimos, who lived on the east coast of Hudson Bay and the Baffin Island, tattooed their chins, cheeks and foreheads with a single or double dotted line.

Another interesting old tradition for tattooing could be seen among the Indians. They used to tattoo different drawings on their bodies (mostly on women’s bodies). They had their first tattoos made at the age of 6-7 or at the beginning of puberty. The paint that they used for their tattoos was mixed with spit and sometimes with the ash of some particular palm trees. The main pigment of the paint was fruit juice from zhenipapy tree. The tribesmen are significant with the wide range of colors that they used for their tattoos and the abundance of their tattoo designs.

Here are two interesting traditions among the Indian tribes, which have already disappeared:

The tattoos on the bodies of the women in the Mbaya tribe showed the social group that they belonged to. Common places for tattoos were their wrists and their shoulders. If a woman had a tattoo on her face – it was considered a bad sign for her origin.

Researches from the first half of the XIX century show that the Indians from the Kadiuveo tribe in Brazil used to cover their entire bodies and faces with tattoos. The right and the left part of the body were covered with different drawings.

The tattoos of the tribesmen, who lived on the south coast of New Guinea, in their primitive form looked very rough. People there wanted to express their individuality, their accomplishments and their origin by tattooing their bodies. Nowadays people have passports; they have another opportunity to show their personality, while people back there in the tribes wrote everything about themselves on their bodies. That made them feel special and also gave them charm and uniqueness, despite the terrible look of the tattoos.

Many years later tattooing became an art. The first electric instrument for tattooing was patented in the USA in 1891. The USA back then became the center of the tattoo art.





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