Saturday, April 4, 2020

Story Of Tattooing (Dr.Puran Batria)

Story Of Tattooing
  Dr.Puran Batria 

Tattooing which involves marking the skin with permanent patterns by inserting pigments  (colouring
matter) goes back to ancient times. A 3,500 year old Egyptian mummy (human body preserved) bears the the tattooed symbol of Goddess Neith on it. Traces of this ancient practice have also been found in India. China, Japan, Greece, Rome, Africa, and Europe. The ancient Greeks used tattooing for sending coded messages heads. The Romans branded slaves and criminals by tattooing. Around 7th century tattooing was regarded as irreligious practice and forbidden. In spite of the order, it persisted in some way or the other and has survived many parts of the world. Some who prominent persons patronised this art and them selves wore tattoo marks in public were George V and Edward VII of  Britain, King Frederick of Den mark and British Field Marshal Montgomery. England today has a tattoo club which conducts annual contests in which men and women display their bodies decorated with intricate patterns. In the USA women sporting tattoo marks are estimated to be nearly 3 million. Wilfred Harley of Nottinghamshire, Britain, has only 4 per cent of his skin bare while the rest of the body bear tattoo marks. Rusky Skuse of Hampshire, Britain, has only 15 per cent of her skin not tattooed.

In Japan the art of tattooing is very popular. The artists make mark the body beautiful with artistic patterns of dragon, animals, birds, flowers, landscapes, geishas (Japanese girls trained to entertain
customers) etc., in many colours. To try to equal or excel Japan, tattoo parlours have come up in major port cities of the world. Here skilled artists decorate the bodies of their clients with patterns of foreign countries. Sailors are particularly fond  of tattooing. Males like patterns representing strength such as  Hanuman, Sword, Spear, Lion, Tiger, Ship, Wheel etc., while women go in for delicate objects like flowers, butterflies, dots etc., Tattooing is highly popular in  rural and tribal areas of India. Many tribals of Central India believe that only persons with tattoo marks on their bodies can go to Heaven! They also believe that tattoo has curative properties. Children having weak legs get "horses' inscribed on their thighs children who are weak get 'tigers or lions' tattooed on their chests. Many tribal women get 'dots' tattooed on their faces as beauty marks. In some parts of  Maharashtra it is compulsory for  a girl to wear a very small tattoo mark before getting married. In some parts of Northern India, especially near Ayodhya, Chitrakut and Prayag, men and women  have 'Hare Ram' inscribed on their forearms.

Because of Tattoo's popularity tattooists are much sought after in the open air weekly markets of
rural and tribal areas of the country. They also go from village to village during the festivals. In early
days they used disposable thoms of some trees dipped in soot (the black powder left by smoke from burning coal etc.) to make the tattoo marks. It was really a very painful process. Now days a battery-operated device with a needle attached to it is used. Instead of herbal extracts,  pigments purchased from the chemists are used. The process has become much less painful and causes only a tingling sensation. But this device, as it is in the hands of unqualified people who take no precautions to sterilise the needle, is likely to spread dangerous diseases.

                     Language is the dress of thought.                 - Samuel Johnson               

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