Re: mutilation and ritual

Marie K Conrad (mkconrad@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Wed, 3 Jul 1996 16:10:02 -0400

> >>> Remember, Westerners tattoo - and we are not alone, as many cultures tattoo
> >>> the body. However, we are (as far as I know) the only culture that tattoos
> >>> without ceremony, symbolism and ritual.

With all this talk of a lack of ritual, etc. in Western "tattooing," is
there anyone out on this list who has actually gotten a tattoo or talked
to someone who has gotten a tattoo? We seem to be approaching this
question with an a priori view that Western tattooing has no ceremony,
symbolism and ritual, and trying to explain why this is, when in fact, I
would argue just that opposite might be true. If tattooing has no
symbolism, then why
bother with "Mother" or a loved one's name? Why get the name removed to
make a new loved one happy - it must mean something? And as far as
ceremony, don't Navy guys still get drunk and tattooed as expected? It
may not elegant, but it might still qualify as ceremony.
Just my .02.
Marie Conrad