Sie sind auf Seite 1von 4

Colloquium paper

Khushi Mandalia Fashion and Lifestyle Accessories Tattoos in tribes

Existence and contribution to the world: They were first done onto men and
women to enhance their beauty and decorate their bodies as well as to show the belonging to a certain tribe or group of people. The word tattoo was actually given to us by the Samoans. Originally spelled tatau, the practice was adopted by some sailors from Europe, which introduced it to the western civilizations. However, the art of tattooing has been practiced for thousands of years and can be dated back to around 1000 AD. The Maori moved to New Zealand about this time and brought this art with them. The tamoko face tattoos became a sort of rite of passage for young Moari men. Many Polynesians tribes still practice this today. Many of the designs used today are from Borneo. They are melded together with the Samoan art to create todays impressions of these tattoos. The 21st century has really added uniqueness to this art, as color tattoos become more plentiful. Tattoos are very personal to most people and many will often talk of the history of tattoo when discussing their own body artwork. Some of todays tattoo artists will not do tribal tattoo art. They often feel there is not enough challenge in this style of tattoo. But the history of the tribal tattoo is meaningful to many people, especially those with Polynesian ancestry. This tattoo is usually placed on the large muscles of the body and requires an even coloring, which is som etimes difficult to achieve.

Origin: There is a myth prevalent amongst the Pardhans of Mandla that describes the
orgin to tattooing. Mahadev, the Supreme one, once invited the gods to a feast. A Gond god also went with the others. The goddesses were sitting in a seperate group with Parvati. Later the Gond god went there to fetch his wife but amongst so many he could not recognize her and by mistake he put his hand around P arvatis shoulder. Mahadev knew that it was only a mistake and laughed, but parvati was very angry. She commanded the tribal women to wear specific tattooing marks to distinguish themselves from other castes. Since then it is believed, tattooing has become an important custom among the tribes. Another myth about the utility of tattooing is prevalent among the Gonds of Chhattisgarh, Bastar and the neighbouring state of Orissa. Yamdev, the god of death, was confused about the sex of the death when their spirits went to his kingdom. He desired that his daughter-in-laws body should be marked with some black stuff so as to distinguish her from others. This was done and she looked e xtremely attractive. Yamdev instructed his son and daughter-in-law to go to earth with the tattoo and showing the villagers the tattooed parts of body. They did as they were commanded and since then

these marks are considered to be a womans wealth that she can take with her even after her death.

Importance in their lives: The trials believe that every material thing is left here in
this world, but the only thing which goes with them to God are their tattoo mark and is seen as the ornament of the spirit, which go to the Supreme One. The Gonds, Bhils, Baigas, Binjwares, Kanwars, Kamars, Murias, Bhatras, Dandami Marias, Dorlas and other sub-tribes of Gonds; the Oraons, Karvas, Pandos, Kols and some other minor tribal group practice tattooing in varied forms. The women amongst the Bhills, Korkus, Gonds, Baigas, Devars, Binjhwars, Bhatras, Madias, Murias are tattooed over a large part of their bodies. Their face, arms chest, hands, thighs and back are tattooed with different motifs. Various tribes have different tattooing rules and bans applicable to them. The woman of the Gonds, Baigas and Bhumias of Mandla, get their bodies tattooed extensively and elaborately but tattooing on hips and the waist is forbidden.

The meaning of tattoos: Some motifs which are tattooed on the female body are
meant for the puspose of exciting the sexual intinct in them. The motifs of the scorpian, honey bee, cock and hen, horse and mare and a deer couple are the motifs of fertility and are believed to stimulate sexual instinct. Some Gond and Baiga women get the soles of their foot tattooed with a motif which represents the earth in a triangular form, and the soles of the right foot with the motif of Padamsen Dev in an oval shape. These motifs are supposed to act as armour to protect the feet from getting hurt. On the foot and on each toe a dot is tattooed and the dots of the five toes together represent Gaj-karan Dev, the elephant god who is believed to reside in cemeteries. This motif empowers the person with strength of an elephant. On the back of the legs, the images of the Baiga priest and priestess are tattooed. Some tattoo motifs are common to all the tribes but there are local differences in identificationthe dove motif is identified amongst the Murias just a flower. Tattoo motifs reflect not only the environment of the tribals, but also their occupation and tools. Motifs related to agriculture and cattle-breeding abound in tattooing. Animal figures, agricultural implements, threshing tools, a sickle, a stove, banana plant, baskets, pots and rice grains are depicted in various patterns. The scene of Sita Rasoi, the kitchen of sita is popular tattoo motif in many tribes. In the normadic Mitta Gond tribe of Central India, their motifs are more realistic in form and incorporate some architectural motifs as well. The Gond tattooing motifs have typing of their spiritual beliefs. The image of Ghoda Deo, the horse-god, symbolises strength.

Gond women are tattooed with the image of Bhimsen on their backs. On the breasts, Gond women get the image of Budha Deo tattooed on the front of the thighs to give the person the strength of a horse. Besides, murga, a cock, and putara, a human figure, tattooed on the arms, are also characteristic of the Gonds. Baiga women get their bodies elaborately tattooed. In the centre of their forehead is the motif of the cooking hearth (fire place) surrounded by three dots on the either side. The other motifs which are often represented are ghat, steps and sankal, magical chain to ward off evil spirits. Some of the motifs like a dance depiction done on the arms; nanga bodo bodana, scorpion on the right on the feet; kiduja bichhoo, scorpion on th e right thumb; amba, mango tree and chindra, a tamarind tree on the forearm.

Process of tattooing: Tattooing is a very painful process and the girls scream while
being tattooed. They are held down by their mothers or by their friends. The devarin or badrin prepares the ink by mixing soot with bhilava oil. First the motifs are drawn in ink with a pen. Then with a needle and ink, motifs are etched out on the skinby pricking. In mandla, the Baigas prepare ink by burning the skin of snakes, preferably, a modi s nake, brown cobra, and mixing it in niger seed oil. The tattooed parts of the body swell and are painful for a week. It is generally believed that this painful operation produces lasting beneficial results: it keeps their bodies in good health and gives t he skin an unusual glow.

Characteristics of tribal tattoo: For the Gond tribes are Tattoo art is a matter of
prestige to them. They do it to flaunt their status. It has been seen that folk songs are sung while tattoo is being performed. It shows tattooing is significant occasion as well as symbol of fortune in their life. The tribes consider it as a decoration of body or ornament that remains throughout the life. After death, i.e. the only ornament that goes along with the body. The creative aspect of a tattoo cannot be ignored. Simple lines, dots, circles and triangles produce several simple and decorative forms. Some tribes like the Oraon tribe make tattoos that are more refined and it has a systematic layout with symmetry and order in the repetition of pattern in a uniform way. Arunachal Pradesh tribes do tattoos to make them unattractive to rival tribes in neighbouring districts, who might otherwise abduct pretty women. Tattoo art is simply not a custom but entire tribal life is influenced with its power. With the limited means of locally developed technical process tribals have developed a high degree of physio-visual art. This art has given way to creativity and tribals have symbolized legends, animals, birds and nature in several motifs.

Belief: According to a myth which is prevalent in this tribe, when the spirit of the dead
person appears before the God, it has to solve a tattooed riddle; but if it fails to solve it, the spirit is sent back to the earth for rebirth. Ancient records indicate that tribal and tattoos were an inseparable phenomenon. Both men and women were keen to painting their bare body with color produced from natural herbs. A strong tribal tradition remarked that tattoos are a sign of status and religion, love and emotion, protection and punishment. The myths dominating the tribal lifestyle have submerged its use with spiritual fundas of the society and believe tattoos area to help protect themselves from evil worlds. Tattooing is done on a girl at various stages of her growth. At age of seven, the first tattoo operations are performed on her body. The attainment of teenage is again marked by tattooing motifs. The third tattooing event occurs just before her marriage. Some believe that applying tattoo gives a resistance power in their bodies. Some believe that tattooing seems to have been a magical means of protecting body against real and spiritual dangers. Richness is also judge by how big the tattoo is on ones body.

Verwandte Interessen