Re: mutilation and ritual

Gary Goodman (sap@TANK.RGS.UKY.EDU)
Sun, 7 Jul 1996 05:52:46 EDT

Marie K. Conrad <mkconrad@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU> commented:

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

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

There are several magazines on tattooing put out by the publisher of
Easy Rider which would seem to bear out that there is a sub-culture with
certain rituals. I will see if some biker friends have some copies

Gary D. Goodman
[|8{) self portrait (recognizable!)
Pentad Communications
McDaniels, KY