Re: tattoosJun 6th, 2006
I eas thinking of getting some Pagan ornament tattooed around my ankle, or probably a wolf on my forearm. Which would be easier to do?
Hey im 15 and i want a tattoo on mii shoulder...i know im to young but i want one for my grandam which shows that she will always have my back wat do u guys think?
A tattoo is an enduring symbol of immaturity. A tip of the body politic to the primitive urges in man's past and the long lost, nascent quest for symbolism. It's an embarrassment to witness its prolific resurrection in present times.
You're well aware the love affair between women and tattoos is of recent vintage.
Cosmo, I don't need to google. I'm a hoary 55 and the only women that had tattoos until the last ten or so years of my life span were biker babes and junkies. Not a single girl or woman I grew up with, went to school with, attended university with had a tattoo. No women of my mother's or grandmother's generation had tattoos either. The tattoo is as old as the hills but its incarnation amongst the women of staid North America is new. (Don't get me off-track with aboriginal instances.)
You 'chicks' might have gotten tattoos in other centuries but you sure haven't done it since confederation here- until now.
But don't mind me. I have a very negative view of tattoos on women. A very negative view of the industry that's promoted it. A very negative view of its chief spokespeople (and their cultural agenda) and the celebrity culture that's at the centre of the spin. But that's my opinion. You can do as you please. Whether I like it or not means absolutely nothing in the scheme of things.
Ryukyu tattooing was first mentioned in 1461. However, some scholars consider the description of tattooing in the Zuisho of 622 to be the oldest record of the Ryukyu tattoo even though this information is still speculative (Yoshioka, 1996). The oldest reports of Ainu tattoos were recorded by an Italian researcher, Girolamo de Angelis in 1612 and 1621 (Yoshioka, 1996). The Ainus were tattooed on the face as well as the back of the hands and arms. The tattoos were done around the lips, cheeks, the forehead or the eyebrows. There are several motivations for Ainu tattooing: cosmetic purposes, tribal purposes, sexual maturity, religious purposes and adornment. Although only the Ainu women's tattoos were mentioned in most cases, it was also reported that the men were tattooed in some regions (Takayama; 1969, Yoshioka; 1996).
Ainu girls were first tattooed when they were 10 to 13 years old. Some women started when they were 5 or 6 years old. Their tattoos were completed by the time they reached marriageable age. The patterns of the Ainu tattoos are related to their tribal clothing.
Tosabayashi (194 presents the study on the patterns of the Ainu tattoo in detail. He mentions that the patterns of the tattoos are similar to the chastity belt that the Ainu women wore, and that Ainu tattoos symbolize virtue or purity. The Ainu tattoo is also used for protection from the atrocities committed by other tribes.
This is a must-read for anyone interested in getting a fuller history of tattooing. The book does an excellent, well-balanced job of weaving biographies and social commentary regarding tattoos and tattoo-ers. And it's a story that must, to be fully inclusive, tell of women's involvement in this art, both as tattoo-ers and tattoo-ees. I had no idea this art form went back so far as it does for western female tattoo afficionados. It's a fascinating story that's seldom told or discussed. It appears that nothing is held back in terms of the whys and hows that these women came to acquire their tattoos, or to have become tattoo-ers. And it's a great missing segment in women's history, and art history for that matter, that needs more exposure (no pun intended) to help dispell the myths and prejudices about women with tattoos. This is a great, ancient art form that deserves more expression, appreciation and respect by the general public, especially in the United States where folks are just too uptight and puritanical about this kind of art.
Cosmo, I'm glad you give wise advice to young women considering tattoos. It's needed. Body art seems to be far larger than a fad or trend at the moment and I have a lot of misgivings about that
Why am I opposed? As I've mentioned before, one of the largest movements of our time is primitivism. The wish to embrace the practices of pre-historical eras and cultures. Piercing and body art and primal behaviour (the omnipresent lolling of tongues etc.) body writing and garish, goth-charged dress and make-up etc. all recall a far earlier time in our existence. Linked with the mainstreaming of porn, primitivism is a potent force indeed.
I like a little stability in my life. I don't see much outside it. I really have a hard time, thinking I am a citizen of a modern country, accepting what's going on around me under the umbrella of tolerance. I can take a little but it's really become too much. It's out of control.
We are a society that says to the world- be like us!
Most days I understand why the globe's not listening.
Much to think about there. I can certainly agree that the tattoo has lost a great deal of its stigma in the last decade. So has much else. There's general agreement if you want to take the sting out of anything- generalize it. This is especially true in language. Queer no longer has any impact.
Western society is entering a time of major transition and challenge. That so little connection exists between its component groups is a concern. What do we hold in common? What do we believe in? How are we defined as a people? Clearly there's not a helluva lot there to glue the resistance together that will be needed not that far down the road. We honour individuality and personal choice no matter what that means and we will be facing an enemy who believes foremost in solidarity.
Maybe body art is simply innocent and all the hullaballoo and outcry is a tempest rocking the teapot. Maybe it's also one more step towards the decadence and profligacy that has marked stumbling societies in the past. I guess we'll find out.