Indian Tattooing; History Fun Fact Vol. 33

Indian Tattooing; History Fun Fact Vol. 33
June 17
13:47 2018

Indian Tattooing; The City of Light and Henna:

There isn’t much mind being paid to Indian Tattooing. Even with modern tattooing gaining more and more popularity in India, you don’t hear too many people mention the country, in the context of tattoos.
But tattoos have actually been a part of Indian culture, for quite some time. Though no one is sure where it came from, or when it actually started.

But it is well known that tattoos have played a prominent role in Indian culture as well. With the city of Zai-tun being the main place, that people would want to get tattooed. People would even pilgrimage to the city, also known as the city of light, just to get tattooed (Hesselt Van Dinter, 2005). It is even proven, that tattooing was used to mark which Caste you belonged to, within the Indian Hindu society.

But there are speculations that the tattoos originated from the tradition of wealthier women, getting decorated with costly henna tattoos. Many poorer women couldn’t afford the henna, and tattoos became a cheaper alternative. It soon then developed into a tradition, for example for weddings. There are still many speculations about the exact reasons and culture behind tattoos, in this vast country with its enormous population. But it is a fact that tattoos are a deeply rooted part of it.

Final Comment:

Indian Tattooing, it is yet another culture that can be proven historically, to have deep cultural links to tattooing (and other body-art). Perhaps it is more than true, when Darwin said all cultures of our planet, have loved body-art.
We learn more and more as the years go by, and it helps us understand our current tattoo culture even better.

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About Author



Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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