Noemi "Noi" Kaiser
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Fort Lauderdale, 33308 Florida
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Archive for the ‘Tattooing’

Globally acclaimed tattoo artist to open second Coast studio – The Sunshine Coast Daily08.24.17

NOW rated one of the best tattoo artists in the world, Damien Wickham has come a long way since “tattooing” mates with Nikko pens at parties in the mid 1990s.

Fresh off the success of his own Ink Attack Tattoo Convention, held on the Sunshine Coast earlier this month, Mr Wickham is preparing to open his second tattoo studio in Eumundi in the coming weeks.

Sponsors have lined up over the years as his 56 first place prizes from tattoo conventions and shows across the globe turned this humble artist into a valuable and highly-sought after commodity.

From his Bokarina tattoo shop, Mr Wickham is getting himself prepared for conventions in Puerto Rico, Miami and New York in November, ahead of a prestigious event in Paris.

“I’m tattooing a brave young bloke as we speak,” he said.

“It’s a Patrick J Jones work, a medieval Conan the Barbarian type of fantasy piece.”

A talent for drawing is a skill Mr Wickham has possessed since a young age.

“When I was about 12 at Warwick West I won a Courier Mail drawing competition,” he said.

“I was always drawing, even when I was really little.

“My aunt tells a story that at two years old I used to run around and draw a two on people’s hands in lipstick.”

Mr Wickham left Warwick in the late 1990s to play rugby league for Norths in Brisbane and then Burleigh on the Gold Coast.

Following this he travelled to the United States as a rugby league ambassador, playing a season for the New Jersey Sharks.

On his return to Australia, he settled on the Sunshine Coast and set up a temporary fencing business.

“My dad had been a tattoo artist and one day he handed all of his gear over to me,” he said.

“So I started using it at home and did about five tattoos before I realised it wasn’t a professional environment at all.

“I hired a mate to come in and manage the fencing business and took a part time job in a tattoo studio in Brisbane, three days a week.”

Completely self-taught, Mr Wickham honed his craft over three years at the Gabba Tattoo Studio and Wildside.

“Then one day I got a phone call from a salesman asking to buy my fencing business,” Mr Wickham said.

“I told him I’d sell it if he found me a tattoo studio.

“Two weeks later he called back – he’d found one.”

In March 2011, Mr Wickham opened Ink Attack Tattoo Studio on Nicklin Way.

“The fencing business was booming and I did well out of the sale so with the extra cash I was able to set the shop up exactly how I wanted it,” he said.

“The first thing I think about before I tattoo anyone is hygiene.

“I studied for my health licence and learned how to contain a virus and how to avoid cross-contamination – every time I touch something I change my gloves.

“Nobody seems to understand the level of care that needs to be taken when tattooing, but I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I contaminated someone.

“So in that regard I think I’m perfect.”

After heading to his first overseas convention in California in 2010, Mr Wickham said he was hooked.

“I loved it, here I was surrounded by the best of the best and I was competing against them,” he said.

“I got to watch legends of the industry ply their trade and that inspired and challenged me to be the very best I could.

“Everyone is trying to do the best tattoo ever – these days I steer away from the simple stuff.

“I’m looking for complex art work, renaissance recreations, photo-realism, that’s where I want to be and what I want to be doing.

“I love Marvel art, baroque artworks, anything that’s visually exciting.”

Now with five leading tattoo supply brand sponsors who fly him to conventions around the world, Mr Wickham is at the top.

“They send me to win,” he said.

“I’m gone three months of the year and when I’m home I’m here tattooing five days a week, from 9.30am to whenever the work is finished, sometimes two in the morning.

“I don’t like to leave a job half-finished.”

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Bernard Mendelman: To tattoo or not to tattoo – The Suburban Newspaper08.23.17

Walking downtown one afternoon last week I couldnt help noticing that Montrealers have a tattoo obsession. Tattoos can be seen in all shapes and all colours, on people of all shapes and all colours. In the winter most of them were hidden unless they were inked on faces or necks, but with the arrival of warm summer weather and people scantily attired, tattoos were visible on all parts of their anatomy. Some of them are tiny, unobtrusive and inoffensive, but most are a bursting array of brilliant colours and intricate designs covering complete arms and legs sending out questionable signals. I dont even know what the proper etiquette is if I want to approach a female and ask her if I can examine her etchings more closely. Suppose theres part of an exposed breast showing with Pat inked on it. Am I supposed to assume that its her name or is it an invitation to do something else?

Comedienne Margaret Cho is decked out in a multitude of colourful tattoos that she proudly displays to her audience during her act. Even our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a tattoo. Its on his left shoulder and is a design created by Robert Davidson, one of the countrys top Haida artists. Trudeau is pleased with his tattoo and would probably let you take a selfie with it. The Haida once approved of Justin Trudeaus ink of a raven, but that was before he supported erecting a controversial liquefied natural gas terminal near the breeding grounds of one of the Haidas biggest salmon runs. They are also angry that Trudeau did not ask permission of Davidson, or follow any protocols to use the image.

If you are considering a tattoo, carefully weigh the risks. The potential for exposure to infection and toxins is great. You can experience itching, swelling and/or redness that may persist long after the tattoo has healed. Dirty needles can pass infections from one person to another, including hepatitis B and C, and HIV. In addition, your immune system can receive an allergic response from an ink invasion. Scar tissue may also form when getting a tattoo. Ink manufacturers are not obliged to disclose the ingredients in their products. Tattoo dyes have been shown to contain lead, cobalt, iron, titanium, nickel, beryllium, barium, aluminum and mercury. When eating fish people worry about unsafe levels of mercury, yet they seem to be unconcerned about keep getting it injected into their skin in record amounts.

Regardless, tattoo parlours are flourishing throughout our city. Each one has their own artists that have become recognized for their own style and originality. The 15th edition of Art Tattoo Montreal, one of the most important tattoo events in North America, will take place on September 8-10 at Gare Windsor. More than 200 tattoo artists, coming from the four corners of the world, will bring the art of tattooing to the public. The artists at the convention will represent all styles of tattooing, ranging from the traditional Japanese tebori to dotwork. More than 10,000 visitors attend this event yearly. It will be a great opportunity for those who are curious of this art form to discover the world of tattooing and for regulars to add a new work to their bods.

While I was researching tattoos for this column, a nurse told me she was in the emergency room when a punk rocker was admitted. The young woman had purple hair styled into a Mohawk and a variety of tattoos. The girl had acute appendicitis and was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff found that her pubic hair had been dyed green and above it was a tattoo saying, Keep off the grass. After the operation, the surgeon added a small note on the dressing which read, Sorry, had to mow the lawn.

riben@videotron.ca

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Ricardo De Cruz Found Tattooing Through a Familiar Fine Art Professor – OC Weekly08.22.17

Monday, August 21, 2017 at 7:21 a.m.

From the classroom to the tattoo shop.

Courtesy of Ricardo De Cruz

In some ways, Ricardo De Cruz is a second-generation tattoo artist. But rather than having the skill passed down from a parent, De Cruz picked it up from an art school mentor iconic tattooer and art teacher Sergio Sanchez of San Pedros Timeline Gallery.

I pretty much got into tattooing while I was taking fine art classes with Sergio Sanchez, De Cruz says. I just needed to play class fees and all of that, so I was trying to figure out ways to make extra money besides my part-time job. Once I started getting into it, I decided that maybe I could try to get the fine art and realism into tattooing, so I wanted to improve on my interest of black and gray realism. I did a couple of small pieces with a lot of detail in them, I realized I wanted to do it as a career and keep getting better at it.

It was about six years ago in 2011 that De Cruz first began dabbling in tattooing, and although he never took on a full apprenticeship, the artist put his painting background to good use while inking friends and other customers for just over three years before deciding to take the leap into professional tattooing at a shop in the beginning of 2015. Even if the self-taught artist is considered part of the new school by some of the more veteran tattooers out there, De Cruz believes his background in the art world is becoming more relevant to tattooing with every passing day.

Courtesy of Ricardo De Cruz

The whole style of tattooing and level of detail in black and gray realism has changed, De Cruz says. There are a lot of tattoo artists taking fine art classes now to improve their tattooing, so now its in the same category as when I was learning fine art. Im comfortable with it at this point, and I think everyone is just focused on getting better with it. Its really becoming like fine art.

Even as he looks at the present and future of tattooing within the fine art world, the lifelong painter cant help but appreciate some of the tattoo history that surrounds him in the world of Southern California black and gray tattooing. As a relatively new tattooer, learning the artistic side of things from established stars like Sanchez and being able to check out the work of many other tattooing legends has provided a near-infinite source of knowledge and inspiration for the rising artist. Although some of the industrys young guns may not appreciate tattooings heritage, its importance isnt lost at all on De Cruz.

Courtesy of Ricardo De Cruz

Its awesome to actually see these people and be able to tattoo in the same spaces as these people, De Cruz says. Obviously their level of tattooing may be higher, but Im able to see them tattoo, and its inspiring for me. Its awesome that I can visit some of these guys or watch these guys on Instagram. I can analyze some of their work and it just makes me want to get better and better. Its awesome to see these guys still doing it and push themselves even more.

Of course, its not just the historic legends that De Cruz pulls from on a daily basis. As far as hes concerned, tattooing is yet another artistic medium that he needs to continue to study and focus on. Eventually, De Cruz may see himself as more of a teacher than a pupil, but for now hes more than happy to be a devoted student of his adopted art form.

Im still learning and still growing, and I think everyone else who is in the same field just needs to keep going, De Cruz says. We need to grow and learn from everyone, talk to everyone, make friends and communicate with everyone. I think its great when we can share ideas and share different ways of tattooing. Thats how we all keep growing, and thats what Im doing.

Reservoir Tattoo Studio, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-908-5249, @ricardodecruzart

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Former Collegiate student able to live his passion for tattoos – New Zealand Herald08.22.17

Emma Russell continues her series charting the stories of former Whanganui students who have gone on to success in the big, wide world

“A love of the art and people” – words former Whanganui Collegiate student used to describe his passion for tattooing.

Seven years ago Scott Waters left secondary school with no idea what he wanted to do next.

Today he is exactly where he wants to be, opening his very own tattoo studio on Main St, Palmerston North.

Former Whanganui student, Scott Waters, opens his new tattoo studio in Main Street Palmerston North.

A few years ago the 24-year-old discovered the art of tattooing and never looked back.

Scott said he started out pursuing IT at Ucol but soon realised he hated it.

“I started getting tattooed and just got exposed to the culture and the art… getting into the art it just blew me away and I thought this is something I’d quite like to do.”

He said he threw himself into the culture and was fortunate enough to land an apprenticeship in town.

“I had a year of managerial work, doing everything and learning everything that was required to run a tattoo shop and then started learning to tattoo.”

This month Scott went into business with his friend, James Bishop, and on Wednesday the pair had their official opening.

Co-owners of Bishop and Waters Main Street Tattoo, James Bishop (left) and Scott Waters (right) fizzing for the opening. Photo/ Emma Russell

“What we are trying to do here is just try to create a really creative space that James and I can just grow and develop as artists…we want it to be as friendly and inviting as possible,” Scott said.

So have tattoos become more accepted in society or do old stereotypes still exist?

Scott said there had been a couple of incidents where he’d been walking through the supermarket and a little old lady had grabbed her purse out of the trolley but overall he receives little judgment.

“I certainly don’t think it’s the tattoo anymore, it’s more attitude that you exude than the tattoos you wear that’s important.

“I think it’s pretty clear to see that old judgment and stigma still exists but I look at the people that come into our shop and there’s no stereotypes anymore, it has really just exploded.”

James Bishop’s leg with his latest tattoo designed and applied by friend and co-owner Scott Waters. Photo/ Emma Russell

For many of Scott’s clients tattoos represent a memory.

“I’ve tattooed any story you can imagine…people fighting cancer, people who have lost a child, a parent, a friend…sadly we do a lot of memorial tattoos and it’s always something I take a fair amount of pride in.”

And then there’s the tourists.

“I had one German guy who didn’t speak any English at all and just said ‘wow’ to everything and all his friends gave him a bit of cheek for it and so he got ‘wow’ stamped to his bum.”

For Scott, tattooing is about the art and the people.

“Being in a close working environment people are really open and honest and you do form special relationships which is pretty neat.”

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Inking it up – Fort Morgan Times08.22.17

Artist Stormy Allred of Sterling’s Total Ink tattoo parlor tattoos a chrysanthemum on a woman at the expo. (Paul Albani-Burgio / Fort Morgan Times)

A Greeley tattoo artist at work at the expo. (Paul Albani-Burgio / Fort Morgan Times)

There was surely no more colorful place to be in Fort Morgan this past weekend than the Clarion Hotel as the facility’s meeting hall filled with local tattoo and piercing enthusiasts for the first annual High Plains Tattoo Expo.

The Expo was sponsored by Fort Morgan’s Americana Custom Tattoo Parlor and brought together at least 20 artists from eight tattoo and piercing shops for a day of tattooing and piercing, showing off designs and just reveling with enthusiasts about a shared passion for tattoos and piercings.

“I really just wanted to showcase all of the local talent that we have around here that a lot of people aren’t aware of and this is really the only way to do that you know get us all together under one roof to do it,” Americana owner and artist Jesse Lee Vaughn said.

The expo consisted mainly of artists and shops from Fort Morgan and Sterling though Greeley and Denver were also represented. Holy Grail Tattoos of Lakeland, Florida, was also on-hand as Holy Grail’s owner Tassili Ledezma grew up in Fort Morgan and attended high school with Vaughn.

Holy Grail artist Drew Johnson said the shop does not usually attend conventions but wanted to support Vaughn in his effort to start one in northeast Colorado.

“It’s great for the community as far as all the shops coming together,” Johnson said. “And just the exposure now in tattooing – it’s never been like this. It used to be all little biker bars you’d have to go to but it’s everywhere now. It’s on TV and social media and it’s more accepted.”

Vaughn said the promotion of “tattoo unity” between shops was one of his primary goals for the convention.

“There’s always been a lot of animosity between shops and whatnot and that’s typical but it doesn’t do anybody any good so something like this where we all rub elbows and make friends is much better for everyone including the public, of course,” he said.

Though some might wonder about the wisdom of holding an event that would promote Vaughn’s competition alongside Americana, Vaughn said he did not view the expo in those terms.

“I never consider other shops as even competition, not at all,” he said. “I want to go out of my way to help promote them and to show them this isn’t just to promote my shop.”

One of those competitors is Fort Morgan’s Skin Deep Studios. The shop’s owner and tattoo artist Jacob Imhoff said he was ecstatic to be part of the area’s first tattoo convention.

“It’s cool,” he said. “This is northeast Colorado’s first so it’s pretty exciting and that’s the whole reason we came out.”

Vaughn said he was also hoping to create a lasting buzz about tattoos in the regionthough he cautioned that his convention would not feature some of the antics of larger conventions in bigger cities.

“In the big cities these things go on all the time and they are wild,” he said “This one is going to be tame because its a small town and small venue. We want to just to give people something a little bit different to do and a little taste of the big city or whatever. A lot of the artists around here have never been to one or worked at one and a lot of the public don’t even know what a convention is, so this is an experiment and an education, too.”

Paul Albani-Burgio: 970-441-5103, paul@fortmorgantimes.com

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Tattoo lovers show off their extreme inkings at annual conventions in LA and Russia – The Sun08.21.17

TATTOO lovers have been showing off their impressive inkings at annual conventions in LA and Russia this weekend.

This year marks the sixth Siberian Tattoo Festival inNovosibirsk, Russia, while stateside tattoo fanatics have been celebrating all things body-art at the LA Tattoo Convention in Long Beach, California.

AFP

From intricate full-body inkings to tattoo fans with their whole backs adorned with huge designs – tattoo lovers from far and wide have visited the conventions to get new tatts and admire the work of others.

According to World Tattoo Events, the Los Angeles Tattoo Convention aims to “elevate, increase and deepen the passion for the art of tattooing.”

The site adds: “Our desire is for tattooing to continue to thrive as a community.”

Here are some of the most eye-catching tattoos snapped at the events.

AFP

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While these jaw-dropping tattoos might encourage you to get tatted up, not all inking trends look like they’re going to catch on.

Here arethe most hilariously bad brand tatts of all time.

And a bonkers new craze has seen people gettingcamel toe inkings.

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Dogs, tattoo parlours and a massive landfill all on the agenda for Stratford council committee meeting – Taranaki Daily News08.21.17

DAVID BURROUGHS

Last updated14:43, August 21 2017

SIMON O’CONNOR/Fairfax NZ

The Stratford District Council has a numerous items on the 449 page agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

The future of Taranaki’s new $43 million regional dump is one of the items up for discussionat a monster Stratford District Councilpolicy and services committee meeting on Tuesday.

Whether or not the Stratford District Council (SDC) agrees to form a Central Landfill Joint Committee and then appoint a councillor to it is just one of the issues for decision in a 449 page agenda.

Ifthe landfill committee agreement is approved, it will bring thedevelopment of a new regional landfillbeing created by the SDC, South Taranaki, and New Plymouth district councilsone step closer.

While the total cost of the project is estimated at $42.9m, the three district councils will put forward around $16.1m for the first stage of development. Stratford’s share of the initial funding will be about $1.1m.

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One councillor from each council would join the the committee, which will oversee the management and running of the landfill.

Other items up for review, decision,discussionor note at Tuesday’s meeting includethe Annual Report on Dog Control Policy and Practices.

It showed there were seven dog attacks on people in Stratford district in the last year but 12 dog attacks on stock or other animals, seven more than the year before.

While barking complaints were down from 97 to 83, complaints about wandering dogs had increased to 159 from 132.

Just three dogs were classified as menacing in the previous year, compared to six the year before and 52 dogs were impounded, just two more than the year before.

In the year to June 30 10dogs were destroyed and five rehoused and four owners were disqualified from owning dogs.

The committeewill also decide on Tuesday whether to send out the newly developed beauty therapy, tattooing and skin piercing bylaw for public consultation.

The council began creating the bylaw with support from theNPDCafter it found a gap in the regulations that cover tattoo parlours, acupuncture and beauty therapy.

While there are industry guidelinesand national standards, the report said council staff had found a need to ensure they followed a set of standards to protect consumers from health and hygiene risks.

The report included in the agenda said the council had talked to operators and business owners in the district who raised concerns that people operating outside of the current guidelines could “bring down the name of the industry”.

If the bylaw is approved, operators doing high risk services that pierce the skin such as tattooing and body piercing will have to gain a health and hygiene licence from the council, while people in low risk services such as make up, tinting and facials would need to follow minimum standards.

Non-commercial services that were free of charge would be exempt under the proposed bylaw.

The council meeting is due to start at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon at the council chambers.

-Stuff

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Photography: Yumna Al-Araishi’s images of the tattooed women of North Africa – The National08.21.17

When Zeyna finally travelled to Germany to visit her daughter, the older woman, who lives in the arid mountains of Zeraoua in Tunisia, expected a very different reception from the one she received.

A farmer of Amazigh (Berber) descent, shehad given little consideration to the impact her appearance might have on her westernised daughter because Zeynas brightly coloured traditional robes, silver jewellery and tattoos are such an inextricable part of her sense of self.

Sadly, after many years studying and working in Europe, Zeynas daughter thought otherwise and was clearly taken aback.

When Zeynagot off the plane her daughter was embarrassed. She told her mother that she looked like a crazy witch and she made her change, explains the photographer Yumna Al-Arashi, who met Zeyna at the start of the year.

She also insisted her mother remove her tattoos. Zeyna insisted on keeping the sun tattoo on her hand, because she was a farmer and the tattoo was part of her connection to the land, but she had the tattoos removed from her face.

But when I met her, she was very adamant about the way she loves her traditions and how she dresses, and now she insists she will never go back to Germany or change.

Zeynas portrait and story is just one of many collected by Al-Arashi, who spent several months travelling through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, recording the ancient but fast-disappearing tradition of female tattooing, a practise that was once common throughout North Africa, Arabia and the Levant, with roots that have been shown to extend all the way back to ancient Egypt.

Female facial tattoos most often served as beauty marks, as well as ways of commemorating important life events such as puberty, marriage and childbirth.

In some areas, such as the Aurs Mountains of Algeria, girls as young as 5 are known to have received tattoos, often from nomadic female gypsies, known as adasiya, who might accept food, such as eggs, as payment.

In his The World of Tattoo: An Illustrated History, Dutch anthropologist and tattoo expert Maarten Hesselt van Dinter has written about the use of tattoos as a form of pain relief and also as charms to ward against the effects of the evil eye, the most effective of which, it was believed, were administered by criminals.

The Ouled Abderrahman, a Shawiya tribe of the Aurs Plains, Van Dinter writes, preferred to have tattoos applied with a murderers knife, and if possible, by the murderer himself.

According to Yasmin Bendaas, who undertook extensive research into North African tattooing traditions for the Pulitzer Centre in Washington in 2012, some of the most-common motifs among the Amazigh include the Sun and Moon, chains, flies and the ain hijla, or eye of a partridge, inspired by the diamond-shaped marking found on a partridges face.

Uncommon among younger generations, tattooing is now considered by many Muslims as something forbidden, or haram, although it is not expressly prohibited in the Quran.

For Bendaas, this attitude stems from the Quranic Surah Al-Nisa, which states that Satan will command them so they will change the creation of Allah.

__________________

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Not only has this been interpreted as including tattooing, but as Bendaas points out, the interpretation is also supported by the following saying of the Prophet, recorded in the Sahih Al-Bukhari, one of the six major Sunni collections of the Hadith: The Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed the one who does tattoos and the one who has tattoos done…

As Al-Arashi explains, this negative attitude towards tattooing, which has become increasingly prevalent in recent years thanks to improvements in literacy, actually helped when it came to her own research, but does nothing to help tattooed women who often find themselves in an invidious situation.

The women were actually pretty surprised that somebody of my age who was an Arab was interested in them, she says. Nobody really talks about the tattoos anymore because the younger generation think that they represent an old, backwards tradition.

In general, the women I met were very strong-minded, sassy and opinionated. When they were younger, they were so happy to have them, they even waited to be able to get them.

But now that they are older, many have children and grandchildren who have gone to school and read the Quran, and who tell them that they will go to hell, which makes some of them feel stupid and ashamed.

For Al-Arashi, an Arab-American who was born and raised in Washington, the research trip was more than a photographic assignment; it was a way for her to engage with her own heritage.

My family is from Yemen and Egypt, and my great grandmother, Aisha, who was born in Aden, had these tattoos on the sides of her lips, and from what Ive heard from my family members, her tattoos were symbols dedicated to Fatima, the Prophets daughter, she says.

A lot of the time people would say: Most of these women are already dead, youre not going to find too many, but in the end they werent too difficult to find, she says. Theres still a strong tradition of having an open door and welcoming strangers and enjoying peoples company.

Although Al-Arashi refuses to choose any favourites encounters or images, one of her most-memorable meetings was with a Tunisian woman, Brika.

I asked what her tattoos meant and she told me that she has the Sun and the Moon tattooed on her cheeks because they were the most beautiful things that her eyes had seen and they had guided her life, she remembers. And because of her ability to read the stars and the Sun and the Moon, it gave her the power of her land. She kept saying: I dont know how to read and write, but I know my land better than anybody.

Al-Arashi would like to continue with her research by writing a book, but admits that the other parts of the Middle East where female tattooing was prevalent Syria, Kurdistan, Yemen and Iraq are too dangerous.

I wish I had been able to explore the rest of the generation, she admits. But Im afraid that by the time I get to those places, the women there may no longer be alive.

The beauty of Al-Arashis meetings with women such as Zeyna and Brika are reflected in her photographs, which are also tinged with the sadness the photographer feels toward the loss of this matriarchal tradition.

Some of the women tell their children that they wouldnt have brought them into the world if it hadnt been for the tattoos, because no man would have looked at them without them, she says. There is a very strong sense that they made these women feel grown up and connected to the earth and to their own womanhood. And you cant change a womans love for the way she expresses herself.

Visit http://www.yumnaaa.com or @yumnaaa for more details

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Tattoo symbol for women – Fiji Times08.19.17

NOSTALGIA and wistful yearning for times gone by can be best reflected in things that hold memories of people or places.

In some instances, these memories can be tapped through items like jewellery, some people have chosen a more permanent method tattooing.

With its roots in Polynesian culture, tattooing has become one of the most symbolic forms of expression for a number of people.

And for some Fijian of Indian descent women, this has been a way to remain bonded to people who have long passed.

The same can be said for Nadi resident Kiran Raj.

A tailor by trade, Mrs Raj is originally from Bulileka, Labasa, and settled in Nadi after moving with her family.

Even though she is miles away from her original homestead, she says she carries a symbolic present that connects her to her late maternal grandmother.

“It was my grandmother’s idea to get a tattoo,” the 55-year-old said.

“It was something a lot of women in the olden days did, all my aunts had it too and my grandmother wanted something that would connect my sisters and I and give us something to remember her by.

“I remember we were very excited when we were going to get our tattoos.”

For reasons unknown, Mrs Raj says, there was a norm in some Fijian of Indian descent households for women to have tattoos.

“My mother told me a story of the time her father refused to accept a drink from her because she didn’t have a tattoo. She got it afterwards and her sisters had one too.

“For us, our grandmother sought the help of a man who did tattoos that time in Labasa. He had come home and tattooed us. I was in class six at that time.

“She got the tattooist to leave a space in the design so we could get the names of our husbands tattooed when we got married. I didn’t get my husband’s name tattooed because I forgot.

“It was a must for girls then. We also had to have our ears and noses pierced. It could have been symbolic for our families as it signified that we were of age.”

Both sets of her grandparents were girmitiya.

The idea of tattoos for women in days past is not something new for Waimalika, Nadi, resident Siri Narayan.

Mr Narayan, originally from Moto, Ba, was raised on a sugarcane farm and married when he was 18. As was the tradition for Fijians of Indian descent, his was a marriage arranged.

“I didn’t see her until the day we got legally married,” the 79-year-old said.

“I know about the tradition of women getting tattoos and there were a lot of women in our time who had tattoos. My wife didn’t and that was fine.

“There are differences between that time and now and I know there are a lot of young people who are getting tattooed and I think it is their choice.”

His oldest daughter-in-law Anjila Devi has followed the tradition of tattooing, getting inked after being married.

“It always fascinated me and when there was a chance to get a tattoo, I took it,” the 54-year-old said.

“I think if people, especially other women do desire getting a tattoo, they should get it done.”

The rest is here:
Tattoo symbol for women – Fiji Times

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Sharp needles for the Cold War: Yes, some kids got tattooed with their blood type – Washington Post08.19.17

The year was 1952 and 11-year-old Jari Zickuhr sat waiting outside the health room at Trinity Lutheran School in Hobart, Ind. After a few minutes, another student her cousin Patricia emerged from the room, walked across the hall and promptly passed out.

It was now Jaris turn to have a Burgess VibroTool pressed against her bare skin as dozens of tiny vibrating needles tattooed her blood type on her back.

I thought, Im going to be fine, Jari said. That didnt scare me.

She did not pass out, and to this day Jari a retired teacher who lives in Hyattsville, Md. sports an O+ on the left side of her torso, about halfway up.

Over the last two weeks, Answer Man has written about identity tags that were made available to students in the District and around the country in the early 1950s. Fear of a Soviet A-bomb attack ran high then, and civil defense officials wanted to be prepared. Some thought it prudent to know everyones blood type. A plan to tattoo Americans across the nation never came to fruition, and yet Jari has a -inch tattoo on her side. Why?

A paper published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology explores this odd aspect of the Cold War. The idea at first wasnt just to put blood into people who might need it, but to take it out of people who could give it.

During the Korean War, much of Americas blood supply was shipped overseas, creating a shortage at home, explained the papers authors, Elizabeth K. Wolf and Anne E. Laumann. Efforts were launched across the United States to determine the blood type of as many Americans as possible as a way of creating walking blood banks that could be bled should the need arise.

A secondary benefit, of course, would be the ability to transfuse victims more quickly.

Andrew C. Ivy, a Chicago doctor and head of that citys Medical Civil Defense Committee, became a leading proponent of the scheme. Ivy had served as an American Medical Association consultant at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, where its likely he learned that members of the Waffen-SS had their blood type tattooed on the inner arm or chest.

Wrote Wolf and Laumann in their paper: It is probable that seeing these tattoos at Nuremberg influenced Dr. Ivy to use tattooing as a means for identification of blood types.

While Chicago never carried out Ivys plan, a county in nearby Indiana did institute Operation Tat-Type. In January 1952, schools in Lake County began blood-typing and tattooing students on the left side above the waist. (The arm was rejected as a location. Limbs could be lost in an explosion.) Thousands of residents were tattooed.

Around the same time, Omar Budge launched a similar program in Utahs Cache and Rich counties, where he practiced medicine with his brother, Oliver. Oliver had been a student at Northwestern Medical School while Ivy taught there. Perhaps he had been following Ivys civil defense exploits.

Utah is heavily Mormon. The Bible contains an admonition against tattoos, but a Mormon theologian pronounced that they were permitted when placing a blood type or an identification number in an obscure place.

Though other communities considered tat-typing, these were the only two to embrace it so heavily.

There were several reasons it didnt catch on, Wolf and Laumann wrote. Tattooing was expensive and took time. The tattoos would be difficult to see on burned skin. Doctors preferred to pre-type the blood just before donation, rather than trust a tattoo. Finally, the blood crisis ended when the Korean War did.

Like Jari, Bill Lowery grew up in Lake County, Ind. He received his tattoo at James Eads Elementary School in Munster. He remembers that the newly tattooed students got a treat: the rest of the afternoon off.

It hurt, said Bill, 75, of Alexandria. That was part of the thing that made it kind of heroic.

Can you imagine how parents would react today?

There would probably be a furor about it, Bill said. This was a much more innocent and scarier time, though how it could be scarier than today, I dont know. Everybody was worried about the atomic threat.

Tattooing a child with his or her blood type seemed very progressive, I think, Bill said. There was no fear in it. It was not an invasion of privacy.

While Jaris tattoo remains relatively intact, Bill said his has become a blob.

Answer Man found it a bit unsettling that Andrew Ivy was apparently inspired by the Nazis, who of course not only tattooed soldiers but concentration camp inmates. But it turned out that wasnt the weirdest thing about Ivy. Ivys endorsement of a miracle cancer cure supposedly made from horse blood cost him his reputation. And the person who helped uncover the truth was a scientist in Washington.

Next week: Alma Levant Hayden and the case of Krebiozen quackery.

Twitter: @johnkelly

For previous columns, visit washingtonpost.com/johnkelly.

Original post:
Sharp needles for the Cold War: Yes, some kids got tattooed with their blood type – Washington Post

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