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THA Press: Tattoo not Taboo [PG rated]

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Posted by: W von Papineäu at Mon Feb 4 07:26:31 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineäu ]  
   

Hoo boy ... the things one learns about geckos from the press!


THE IRRAWADDY (Chiang Mai, Thailand) 01 February 08 Tattoo not Taboo (David Paquette) {Excerpts}
The first tattoos began accidentally—early man rubbed ash or soot from a fire into cuts and injuries to sterilize a wound. Tattooing became a rite of passage and soon evolved into a magical art
An old Burmese saying goes: “Getting married, building a pagoda and getting a tattoo are the three undertakings that can only be altered afterwards with great difficulty.”

Ancient Chinese records from the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC) indicate that men of the Lue and Yue tribes in the Mekong region were tattooed from waist to ankle with designs of demons and “water serpents”—the legendary naga perhaps—to ward off evil spirits.

The introduction of Theravada Buddhism in Burma shaped the symbolism of the art. The body was divided into 12 parts. Hindu gods, Buddhist figures and sacred mantras were tattooed only on the back, the arms and the head. The ears, throat and shoulders were reserved for protective animals and mythological creatures. Tattoos in the pubic area symbolized sexual prowess, using images of geckos and peacocks. A tattoo on the ankles was said to offer protection from snake bites.

Tattoo not Taboo


   

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