Inuit Women; An Ancient Tattoo Tradition:
Inuit tattooing is one of the oldest and most well kept tattoo cultures in the world. It is practiced by people, in both Canada, Alaska, Russia and Greenland (Denmark), to this day. It is a huge part of the native Inuit Culture and tied deeply with their myths. Both men and women would get tattooed.
Tattoos, much like with polynesian and other tribal tattooing, was seen to have mystical connections. They were seen as something magical, to an extent. Tattoos were something that could heal, both the body and the spirit. For Inuits especially women, got tattooed and get tattooed today. It has a lot to do, with their bodies and the traumas they face through their lives.
Inuits are also very protective of their tattoo culture, at least to some extent. They view it as something sacred, especially the art of skin stitching, a tattoo technique native to them and sacred to their culture. Some Inuits feel people steal their culture, when they get Inuit tattoos done, without embracing their culture or knowing the meaning of the tattoos.
Healing and Trauma:
For some Inuit women today, tattooing is a way to heal traumas they have faced. Every poke is a way, for the spirit to gain release and for the trauma to seep out of the body. It is a way to gain energy while at the same time dispersing bad energy from their body and soul.
Tattoos are far from just ink under the skin to these women, they are healing and culture all i one.
They believe that the tattoos, free them of their traumatic past. It is not an escape, it is a way to make the person whole. Not only that, but they want to use it as a way to bring together modern Inuit women. That is at least the goal modern Inuit woman, the Inupiaq artist and the educator and artist Holly Mititquq Nordlum, hopes to accomplish.
Healing the trauma of Inuit women and bringing them together, through their ancient tattoo culture. A cultural history, which was previously almost abolished, by the religious colonization from Europe many years ago. Now they are trying to regain that honorable and sacred tattoo culture.
As said previously, tattooing is sacred to this culture. Even if people want to replicate it, it should be shown its proper respect.
Even if you do not believe in the Inuit myths and religion etc. You would still do well, to know the meanings of the tattoos. A similar thing could be said, about the many different Polynesian tattoo cultures. No matter what, and no matter how (almost), we here at MediaZink, at least hope the Inuit tattoo culture, gets to survive and prosper in the future.
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