Tribal Body Art

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Different Types Of Body Art

Have you always wanted a tattoo, but are afraid of commitment? Piercings, while removable, may leave marks on your skin. Tattoos, body shaping, and scarification are permanent as well. However, there are other types of that may be more your speed. Temporary body art such as body painting and skin dying are the safest choices, as you will soon see.

Body painting is meant to transform a person into a living work of art. Body paint is protective and creates visual beauty for onlookers. Many times the paint is symbolic or represents something sacred.

Skin Dying has been common in areas such as India for hundreds of years. Henna, the most popular temporary skin dye, is made by smashing dark green henna leaves and combining the powder with other natural ingredients such as black tea or coffee. This body art paste is applied to skin overnight, then peels itself off, leaving the skin a beautifully rich reddish color. Ornate patterns are applied in thin lines, usually on the hands and feet.

Piercings are usually thin metal objects which are “pierced” through skin. Ears are the most common placement for piercings, but can be used almost anywhere on the body. Traditional piercings have been used in many parts of the world for special ceremonies and may be worn only by certain people, depending on the place. Westerners tend to have the freedom to choose when, where and what they have for piercings. Tattoos are one of the more popular forms of body art in the west, and can be worn by anyone who wants to pay for them. Men and women of all types can express themselves by getting “inked” by a professional tattoo artist in the design of their choice. Quick, repeated piercings through a few layers of skin with an ink-filled needle traps the ink permanently if done correctly.

Scarification is like a hard-core tattoo. This is basically the first type of human tattoos. First, the skin is actually cut into the desired pattern, then the color is applied directly to it. The inked design will stay inside the skin for life, after the wounds have healed. This type of body art is a tribal tradition and is seldom seen in the US.

Body shaping, as the name suggests, refers to altering the body’s shape. Each culture has a different form of body shaping, depending on what each culture sees as beauty. Examples include, binding women’s feet so they stay dainty, adding rings to women’s necks to make them long and swan-like, and actually removing ribs from women for a slim waist. In the US, we call it plastic surgery!

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