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Tag Archives: tribal tattoos

Tantilizing Tribal Tattoos

Tribal-Tats (1)

By definition, tribal tattoos are tattoos that refer to and celebrate tribes – which means only people who belong to particular tribes with their own tribal tattoo designs would represent said tribes with their tribal tattoo. (Confused yet?) Most people with tribal tattoos nowadays aren’t part of tribes though, so that definition has pretty much been tossed out of the window. Nowadays, the term “tribal” mostly refers to a design/art style – which you’ll see plenty of in the gallery featured below. This style tends to utilize thick lines and geometric patterns. We hope you enjoy these tribal tattoos as much as we enjoyed putting this gallery together for your enjoyment. Read More »

Why Tattooing Is Universal

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Maori face paint (Ralph Orlowski/Reuters) A National Geographic photographer explains why many cultures view the body as a blank canvas. OLGA KHAZAN ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOUND HERE ASPEN, Colo.—Tattooing, when you think about it, is like smiling: Nearly every culture does it, but not always for the same reason. In a given society, the motivation for covering oneself in paint, ink, or even scars speaks to what the civilization as a whole holds dear. Chris Rainier, a photographer for National Geographic and other publications, has traveled the world in search of cultures he describes as having “one foot in the Garden of Eden.” (He was also Ansel Adams’s last assistant). Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is organized jointly by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute, he explained how “many cultures around the world believe that the body is a canvas waiting for a story to be told.” From New Zealand’s Maori people to Angeleno gangsters, most cultures incorporate some form of tattooing. But “where the skin is too dark to tattoo, there is scarification,” Rainier said. When he would visit African societies that practice scarification, and he would ask locals who they thought was the most beautiful woman or the most handsome man, they would inevitably point to the most scarred. (Note: Rainier’s images are copyrighted, but you can view them at his website.) The leader of a Turkana cattle kraal shows his traditional scars. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) Often, body modifications go beyond vanity, reflecting a necessary part of the transition to adulthood. He photographed one group of Papua New ... Read More »

Joe Larralde: Polynesian Tattooing in the Pacific Northwest

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By Joe Larralde Polynesian tattooing is alive and well here in the Pacific Northwest. Washington and Oregon have long been a hub for Hawaiian and other people of Pacific-island descent. Portland in particular has a large and ever growing population, and fortunately for me they are seeking out their roots when choosing their tattoos… Read More »