Tattoos of different nations from all over the world

Image:©Oleksandr Lishinskiy /Fotolia

Despite of the fact that our ancestors had only simple instruments and a small color range, there were not any similar images found during the excavations. Each nation has a specific tattooing method. Now, we could easily find out where and when a particular tattoo is made. The excavations show that tattooing was widely spread in Asia, Europe, North and South America, Oceania. The art of body drawing was with a huge value in Indonesia and Polynesia. Every person there was in some point addicted to tattoos. They tattooed their whole bodies with different signs and ornaments, all of which had a meaning.

The Maori tribes in New Zeeland had their faces tattooed with masks, details that show their position in the society, fight decorations. The traveler Nikolo Maclay saw the way many different nations from New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia tattoo their bodies. He wrote about it and nowadays, thanks to him, we know much about the culture and the tattooing of these nations. For example, in South America, some Indian tribes until the XX century, made tattoos under their skin sometimes. According to a tradition, “Tattoo” was an old woman, who drew the wanted tattoos by using a charcoal and then used needles and paint from plants to finish the drawing.

The people from the Maori tribes made on their faces tattoos that looked like masks. The drawings were so incredible that they were considered a relic. These masks were some kind of a passport for the people there. They carried a lot of information about their owners. They were like a signature.

In many nations, the tattoo is considered a connection between life and death. It symbolizes the transition between the two worlds. On the Borneo Island, the Diak tribes tattooed their bodies with dark colors, because they believed that in the after world everything gets an opposite meaning of the one that it has had before. It was considered that their tattoos will become light and will help them find the way to heaven.

A very long time ago, in Japan, tattoos could be worn only by the artist, that was almost as prestigious as the title of the samurais. But, in the end of XVIII century, the local firemen tattooed their whole bodies and worked naked, the tattoo seemed like a uniform.

The tattooing was admitted for an art, thanks to the inhabitants of the Hokkaido, Honshu and Sikoku islands. Their tattoos looked like huge drawings of ancient legends.

Nowadays, in Japan, the tattoo is not being encouraged. It is considered as a trait of people who broke the law.

Thanks to the work of RUDENKO, we could say that the Asian Eskimos used to tattoo their bodies and it was a huge honor for them to do that. Nowadays, this tradition is gone and the tattooing is not something special anymore. The most common images were of simple lines and dots. The tattoo was something that only morally grown people were allowed to do. The simple images were usually drawn on injured and ill body parts, because people believed that a tattoo might fasten the healing process.

But not in every nation, the tattoo was meant to heal and bring happiness. For example, in the Brazilian Tino tribe, when people were tattooed on their chests, it was a sign that they are going to die very soon. The inhabitants of the tribe who have done something wrong were marked with such tattoos. It was like wishing them “Die faster”.

The tattoos in the past were mostly made for protection from diseases and evil, help with the hunting and war. The Arabs, for example thought that if they had a quote from the Curran, tattooed on their body, it will protect them from all disasters.

The tattoo in its development had plenty of charm in every nation and every part of the world. It has changed so many times and been through so many things. But from XX century till today, it has got its deserved title – an incredible international art!



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