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By the time of the American Revolution, tattoos were already common among American sailors. Tattoos were listed in protection papers, an identity certificate issued to prevent
impressment into the British Royal Navy. Because protection papers were proof of American citizenship, Black sailors used them to show that they were freemen.
Prison tattooing is the practice of creating and displaying tattoos in a prison environment. Present-day American and Russian prisoners may convey gang membership, code, or hidden meanings for origin or criminal deeds. Different symbols and elements are either a identification of gangster or the crime one has committed. During the 20th century in the Soviet Union, Russian criminal and prison communities maintained a culture of using tattoos to indicate members’ criminal career and ranking. Specifically among those imprisoned under the Gulag system of the Soviet era, the tattoos served to differentiate a criminal leader or thief in law from a political prisoner. Demonized images of political leaders are tattooed on their body to show their political attitudes.
Buddhist culture is popularly linked with Mandala tattoos — beautiful, ornate tattoos that depict the eternity and cyclical nature of the universe. The Thai name for such tattoos is Sak Yant. In essence, it involves tattooing sacred, geometrical patterns and designs on one’s skin. Different religions have influenced Sak Yant tattoos over the centuries. The patterns inscribed by Brahmin holy men in India greatly influenced Buddhist design in Thailand. Many of the monks in Thailand have these kinds of tattoos.
The Maori people of New Zealand have a rich history of tattoos. Originally thought to have reached the Maori via east Polynesia, tattooing became an integral part of their culture. Because the Maori considered the head to be body’s most sacred part, they focused heavily
on facial tattoos. If a Maori was highly ranked, it was certain that the person would be tattooed. Similarly, anyone without status would likely have no tattoos.
To Taiwan aboriginal people, In the past, this custom was an incredibly important moment in a tribe member’s life. Boys would earn their tattoos by proving their worth to the tribe in hunting and even headhunting. To be accepted as a man they must be tattooed between the ages of five and 15; For women, weaving was and still is a vital skill for the many tribes of Taiwan, and a young woman must prove her skills at the loom in order to earn her tattoo. This skill was deemed so important that a woman without facial tattoos was not allowed to marry.
Tattooing of women and girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina is colloquially called sicanje or bocanje, and it was a widespread custom mostly among Roman Catholic Croats in the central regions. Women in some parts of the country tattooed their hands and other visible parts of the body (such as brow, cheeks, wrist, or below the neck) with Christian symbols and stećak ornaments. The point of tattooing amidst the expanding Ottoman Empire was to show resistance to the resulting spreading of Islam and act as a reminder of the religion Bosnian Catholics were born into.
A large part of Japan’s aversion to tattoos is thanks to the yakuza, or the Japanese mafia. Traditional Japanese tattooing is known as irezumi, hand poked tattoo. In the 1600s, Japanese government enacted a policy that all criminals must be tattooed — an act known as bokkei. This would make it difficult for them to gain acceptance again in society. Even in modern Japan there are “no tattoos allowed” signs at public bathing facilities, saunas, gyms and more.
China’s relationship with tattoos dates back several millennia. Known as ci qing in Mandarin, it has had a complicated history — usually seen as a distasteful degradation of the body. In fact the government had been officially use tattoo as a form of punishment since Zhou dynasty, executed with a knife and ink, this form of punishment would leave a permanent mark of criminal to the guilty person’s face, and this form of punishment lasts until middle Qing dynasty.
Batok, batek, patik, or batik, among other names, are general terms for indigenous tattoos of the Philippines. Tattooing on both sexes was practiced by almost all ethnic groups of the Philippine Islands during the pre-colonial era. Tattoos were symbols of tribal identity and kinship, as well as bravery, beauty, and social or wealth status. Most tattoos for men were for important achievements like success in warfare and headhunting
Various tools, with which the ink is packed into the skin.