Tattoo History 2: Micronesian Tattooing

Micronesian tattoos date back as far as 2000 BCE. Clothing and jewelry acted as a secondary body adornment to tattoos. Tattoos were an extremely important part of growing up on the islands. For men it signified manhood, and attracting women, showing how much pain he can endure. For women it was a sign of beauty.

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Man and woman tattooed.

Tattoos were sanctioned by the gods; they would be called upon the night before to see if the tattoo should be undertaken. A tattooer’s inspiration was seen as a gift from the gods, and the initial drawing of a preliminary design would be done in complete silence.

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Tattooed woman.

Tattooing began with the chiefs and their wives before moving onto the common people. The chiefs would have large tattoos, including on their faces to hide wrinkles. The size and design of the tattoos depended on offerings made to the gods and payments made to the tattoo artist in food and mats. Tattoos on men would be placed on their chest, back, arms, shoulders, thighs, neck, face, and genitals, depending on the wearer’s status. For women, tattoo’s would be placed on shoulders, arms, and hands.

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Tattooed man.

Tattoos now can be very painful, but back then they were extremely painful. The tattoo was done by hand and took a very long time to complete. The tattoo itself would be made with chisels made of bird or fish bones. They would then be dipped in dye made of burned coconut sheathes mixed with water.  A chest or back tattoo would take approximately one month to complete. The skin would swell and medicine made from coconut juice and healing leaves would be placed on the open wounds. When the line work was completed songs with clapping and drumming would be played to help the wearer overcome the pain.

Information taken from Oxford History of Art : Pacific Arts of Polynesia and Micronesia, and larskrutak.com

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Minimalistic Rose Tattoo

Minimalistic tattoos have been a growing trend over the last few years. Roses are an especially popular mini design, and look great on anyone. They can be done in blackwork, black and grey, and colour. In order for such a small design to look great, it has to be well done, so be sure to see someone with impeccable attention to detail if you plan on getting a miniature tattoo.

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Black and grey rose done by Evan Kim at West 4 Tattoo in New York City.
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All black tattoo by Johnny Gloom in Paris.
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Black and grey bicep rose by Jonathan Valena at West 4 Tattoo NYC.
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All black hand blaster by Kane Trubenbacher at Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
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Blue ankle rose by Nando in Seoul, South Korea.
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Framed black rose by René in Melbourne.
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Side of the hand rose by Spider Sinclaire at Two Hands Tattoo in AKL NZ.
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Collar bone grey rose by Sven Rayen at Studio Palermo in Belgium.
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Delicate pink wrist rose by Zihwa at Reindeer Tattoo Studio in Seoul, South Korea.
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Upside-down black and grey face rose by Emily Horstman at Avenue Tattoo in Santa Rosa CA.

Which one is your favorite?

Winnipeg Artists 1: Carly Montgomery

Carly Montgomery is a Winnipeg tattoo artist who works out of First String Tattoo. Carly has fantastic attention to detail, doing both colour and black and grey work, as well as fantastic script.

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Fun lazy sloth with script
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Hedwig and Hogwarts for Harry Potter fans
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Partially finished Japanese koi leg piece
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Bright and colourful peacock
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Wrapping crow
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Deaths hand moth and tree

Carly has done a number of my own tattoos, including these.

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Black and grey chest piece. Anchor, rose, and heart.
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Calf knight, bat wings, and tree.
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Carl from Pixar’s UP.
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Harry Potter quote and Deathly Hallows mark.

Be sure to check Carly out if you’re going to be in Winnipeg!

Artist of the Month: Ryan and Matthew Murray

Ryan and Matthew Murray are identical twin tattooers who do brilliant dark, blackwork tattoos in Salem Massachusetts working out of Black Veil Studio. Being in Salem the two are drawn to the darker side of life.

The two men do fantastic, realistic horror and death related artwork. Their pieces are brilliantly realistic and detailed.

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Nosferatu
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Frankensteins monster
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Dark snake
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Black widow spider
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Bat, wolf, cat, and spider
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A burning church
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Thestral from Harry Potter
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Bat
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hanging bat
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Dark woman and spider
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Ouija and spider
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Hogwarts and Snape vs Lupin in werewolf form.
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Rams head
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Crying woman with flowers

Be sure to see them if you’re going through Salem!

Fantastic Beasts Tattoos

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is a short book written in 2001 by J.K Rowling after the Harry Potter series. Written as a textbook for Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, the book is “written” by magizoologist Newt Scamander. Proceeds of the sales of the book go to “Harry’s Books Fund” to help needy children in the poorest countries in the world.

The film adaptation comes out November 18th, 2016, and fans of Harry Potter around the world could not be more excited!

The book and film feature many strange and”fantastic” beasts from the wizarding world, including the acromantula, ashwinder, augurey, basilisk, billywig, bowtruckle, bundimun, centaur, chimaera, chizpurfle, clabbert, crup, dementdemiguise, diricawl, doxy, dragon, dugbog, elf, erkling, erumpent, fairy, fire crab, flobberworm, fwooper, ghoul, glumbumble, gnome, goblin, graphorn, griffin, grindylow, hippocampus, hippogriff, horklump, imp, jarvey, jobberknoll, kappa, kelpie, knarl, kneazle, leprechaun, lethifold, lobalug, mackled malaclaw, manticore, merpeople, moke, mooncalf, murtlap, niffler, nogtail, nundu, occamy, phoenix, pixie, plimpy, pogrebin, porlock, puffskein, quintaped, ramora, red cap, re’em, runespoor, salamander, sea serpent, shrake, snidget, sphinx, streeler, tebo,thestral, troll, unicorn, werewolf, winged horse, and yeti.

Since we don’t know what the majority of these creatures look like yet, there are a few that tend to get quite a bit of attention in the tattoo community. The elf, particularly Dobby, the thestral, the hippogriff, particularly Buckbeak, dragons, dementors, and the phoenix, particularly Fawkes.

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Buckbeak the hippogriff, done by Dan Molloy at Bold as Brass in Liverpool.
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Dotwork thestral by Emily Ann in a private studio in Sydney.
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Blackwork thestral by Jim Ordie.
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Neo traditional thestral by travelling tattooist Jonathan Penchoff.
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Adorable Dobby the house elf by Jared Mcfarland at LG Tattoo in California.
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Sirius Black in his animagus form, by Jim Ordie.
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Blackwork dementor by Jayden at Sacred Skin Tattoo in Brisbane.
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Basilisk by Jayden at Sacred Skin Tattoo in Brisbane
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Hungarian Horntail dragon on top of Gringotts by Jayden at Sacred Skin Tattoo in Brisbane.
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Fawkes the phoenix with hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry by Jayden at Sacred Skin Tattoo in Brisbane.
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Phoenix by Mike DeVries in California.

 

As the movie is set to be very popular, i’m sure there will be many more magical creatures being tattooed soon! All of these creatures make a potentially cool tattoo, and many people have taken it upon themselves to carry them on their skin forever!

 

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