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Shamanic Skin: The Art of Sacred Tattoos

Sunday, October 2, 2016 6:27
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Tattooed Maori
It has been estimated that 500 years ago perhaps 1,000 indigenous cultures practiced tattooing. Today, most of these groups have completely vanished from the face of the earth, and only a few continue to persist in the remote areas of Asia, South America, Africa, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Only fragments of this once rich heritage of body art remain in our modern world, but they allow us to gain a glimpse of a culture that connected tattoo, ritual, religion, myth, and nature from which indigenous tattoo culture ultimately sprang.

Why was it important for indigenous tattoo artists to create permanent designs on the body? Were they made for purely aesthetic impact or for other more sacred reasons? What deeper significance did these elements have for their makers and owners? And what did they communicate to others? Read more.

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