Burmese tattoo

In this article, I'm not just writing & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39; but put this issue in the proper historical and cultural context. We begin our journey into the realm of tattooing.

What do you remember or know about 1991? Not many? Let me help you remember. This was the year in which the first Gulf War began, the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, and the Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Cape Canaveral to Spacelab in orbit. Given the theme of this article is the most important event of the year was the discovery in 1991 & # 39; Oetzi & # 39; The Iceman on September 19, 1991 in Europe. The extremely well-preserved mummy frozen in the ice of the glacier Fineilspitze high in the mountains in the Austrian Alps, the Austrian / Tyrol (Italy) height limit 10.530 ft / 3210 m.

Now you can clearly see the question mark in the eyes and hear the question, what on earth known as Burma tattoos do with a place in Europe, 4.140 nautical mile / 7.670 km Burma and who God & # 39; Oetzi's sake & # 39; the Iceman & # 39; the. Do not be impatient give the answer now; you will be surprised.

First, I will tell you who or what Oetzi & # 39; the. Oetzi & # 39; nicknamed Oetzi, as found in the Oetztal Alps) where a middle-aged man (about 46 years), who is likely to be higher status (copper ax him what time it is a status symbol). His life is found sometime between 3239 and 3105 BCE violent end (since assassinated) at the place where he is (what's left of it) is found, or in close proximity as well. He (the mummy) is at the time of writing some 5,300 years, and today is a treasure trove of valuable information for scientists.

Now you know what is the relationship between it and Burma. & # 39; Oetzi & # 39; It is so far the oldest ever found strong evidence that you have a Copper Age man wore tattoos, 61 of them because he distributed 19 parts (wrist, leg, lower back and chest, etc) in the body. Some sources speak of 49 tattoos, which is the first volume of tattoos, they found it was in 1991, when it was discovered. This number has increased over time, as more and more tattoos that are sometimes barely visible against the dark background of the skin, were found. The last was discovered in December 2015, we have increased the total number to 61.

Although there is a form of connection migrating and traveling people in Western Europe and Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia and China (with some mummies found in China is definitely Caucasian and Eurasian European origin) I did not want to say that the art of tattooing spread from Europe to Burma, because this is – I think – quite foolish to assume that the tattoo comes from a particular place, and began to spread and the world it from there.

The archaeological finds which suggest the existence of tattoos have been reported in various places around the world, which is more likely to be at the very beginning tattoos started at different times and in different cultures independently and spread from these regions and cultures of the respective adjacent regions and cultures, as long as there was no space left on the planet where the tattoo was not known and experienced. No one will know that it really was, but that's my idea of ​​how likely it was.

Into regions and cultures that make up these days are those of Burma (aka Myanmar since 1989), tattoos were introduced long after they have been an integral part of many cultures around the world.

I admit that at one time had seriously considered getting a tattoo myself. I finally decided against it because of fear of health problems such as HIV and do not have one. The same for my wife, daughter and granddaughter (OK, the latter is too small to be tattooed). But anyway I see them (tattooing) every day. Everywhere there from morning till night, and all around me UniChrome quality and diverse.

Burma – especially men – without at least a tattoo is a very rare thing that tattoos are an integral part of the so-called & # 39; Burmese culture & # 39; and much appreciated predominantly highly superstitious Burmese people. That is why we decided to write an article on Burma tattoo.

I knew tattoos when I decided to write about them was that a tattoo is a picture that is more or less skillfully inserted into the skin. Believing that it was in all aspects of tattoos, it is assumed that write about them would not be a big deal, I was afraid even that's not enough stuff to fill a page; far off the mark. To be sure, what I can tattoo was not bad, but the idea that it was all I had to know about it. It was like they think that all of mathematics is the multiplication table. Quickly I realized that much more of the subject & # 39; Tattoos & # 39; but, unfortunately, only few authentic, reliable and not easily find sources (most of which can be seen on the Internet, plagiarism or copyright infringement) on the subject of tattoos and that this important topic & # 39; body art & # 39; known as & # 39; Tattoos & # 39; It means to embark on a huge and immensely complicated though extremely interesting topic. This article is not the purpose of following, to cover and explain everything about tattoos and tattoo related subjects. I limit myself to this article to what would be considered the minimum necessary to cover the topic of tattoos in general, and in the & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39; especially as brief as possible and as detailed as necessary.

Let & # 39; s go back to the very beginning of the topic & # 39; Tattoos & # 39;, okay? For me, the beginning is on the one hand to find answers to general questions that when, where and why people began to get tattooed, tattoos or others?

When people start to get tattooed or that people tattoo?


Change Body tattoos evidence that an ancient art, and the question is when and how the tattoos really began to wide speculation and will never be answered. I agree with the assumption that most likely was the beginning of a scratch dirt penetration remained visible on the skin after the wound was healed. From the result of accidental damage to develop the art of tattooing; sense to me. The question of time, which proves that people are already quite tattooed response to already identified & # 39; Oetzi & # 39; The oldest previously known as the Iceman tattooed man.

But this does not mean that there were no previous cultures tattoos and they are waiting to be unearthed, not older Tattooed mummies. However, all other existing fossil record at this time, as the remnants of pigments bowls of black, blue and red pigments and small, pointed and sharp flint stone chip, long needles made from fish bones and horn, etc., that could have been used tattoos mere evidence. These things that were discovered in different countries on different continents and some of them dating back to even before the last great ice age (12,000 years ago or 9500 BC, the Neolithic Age) allows the theoretical conclusion that tattoos are likely already known and experienced already he had previously said the mere evidence and there is no conclusive evidence. Definite proof would be needed to explore tattoo of a mummified human body, or at least a piece of human skin preserved skin identified by the tattoo is older than the & # 39; Oetzi & # 39;.

Where people start to get tattooed?

The first evidence of tattooed people and answer the question of where people are most likely started to tattoo or tattoos people we had: it was the European continent – precisely, in the region of today's Austria and Italy and probably in the neighboring countries – such as irrefutably proven & # 39; Oetzi & # 39;.

In later times than the times of the Persian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Mongol Empire, Chinese dynasties and the South American Inca, Maya and Aztec empire and all the regions that these Empires contains ample evidence exists in the form of whole or parts of mummies mummies that some cultures have been tattooing cultures.

Here are some examples. The mummified Ukok & # 39; Princess & # 39; Siberia is 2500 years old, is a 3,000 year old Egyptian mummy was discovered by a woman near the & # 39; Valley of the Kings & # 39; 4,500-year-old mummified remains of a woman were found by archaeologists in northern Peru.

around 2000 BC tattooing became a part of the Chinese culture, which spread across the continent of South East Asia. Some of the earliest Tattooed mummies from China that were found in cemeteries in the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang / western China date to about 2000 BC, 300 BC

Why do people start to get tattooed, and tattoos others?

discovery that it is possible to place a lasting images of the skin, to the development of tattooing as an art was but a small step.

The meaning and symbolic tattoos that have developed over time to do always and everywhere the same physical and spiritual life. Therefore, they are for the purpose tattoos example, expression of emotions (love and hate), beautification, expression of physical strengths and / or magic power of ethnic identity (tribal membership and citizenship), personal identity, social class and financial position, the group membership (clubs, military criminal organization), religious affiliation and related symbols and / or texts, medical therapy (acupuncture), the punishment or protection from disease and / or demons.


starting the topic & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39; it is worth briefly addressed two topics that include fairly standard part of a tattoo, that is, the ink (s) and techniques and methods used.


One would think that the tattoo ink contains an ordinary writing / pen ink, and just like any other type of paint pigments in different colors and liquid solvent is so-called carrier. However, this is not so. The fact that it is possible (but not recommended for health reasons) to get a tattoo ink pan does not mean that there is no difference between a pen and ink of the tattoo ink ;. The most notable difference is that unlike the writer of ink / painting that we paint the carrier which distributes the paint evenly, tattoo ink made from pigments (not dyes), the colors and the carrier, it is necessary to smoothly enter the pigments into the skin, and they are uniformly distributed therein.

ancient / traditional tattoo inks are not essentially used for a brew of soot, carbon, calcium, and lithium, pigments and water and / or other liquids, such as alcohols, as carrier. However, according to traditional recipes inherited from the older generations, depending on the available natural (organic and inorganic) is added to these ingredients. Examples of barks of different trees, insect egg deposits, carbon, metal salts and albumin pigment and breast milk (yes, milk!) And leek juice as a carrier

Different Tattoo methods

primarily use three different techniques / methods in the process of tattooing, that is puncturing, piercing and cutting since ancient times. What exactly is what distinguishes these three methods of body modification from each other? The answers to these questions are more or less clearly recognizable names. In other words, the names are pretty much self-explanatory.


term, insert a technique in which a rake-like tool with a stick and used tools pierce the skin. Projecting rake head & # 39; s are lower (50!) A thin, sharp-pointed needles made of different materials. The points of these needles, also called pins are arranged at right angles to the skin, which has already reached up to the tattoo using the & # 39; s feet or the assistant. The upper side of the head of the puck to the stick in quick succession (several times per second) that what is driving the ink dipped vertically into the skin with a needle and driven out of the big hole in the skin.

This is repeated thousands of times. In this process, the necessary rake systematically moved in the directions of the development of lines, stuffings and nuances of the design. For lines of varying thickness, fillers and rake shades and thicknesses varying numbers of pins are provided.


Piercing refers to a technique in which a known up to about 4 feet / 122 cm long conical tube made of brass rod, wood or bamboo is used in the tattooing device. The bar is equipped with: the front end of a needle or sharp-pointed pieces made of different materials. The side handle is decorated with a tattoo in the form of weight mythical creatures, such as if a magic number (the hero of Burmese prince), Zawgyi (alchemist supernatural powers), or Belu (demons). These two purposes for tattooing weights including one that stands ahead of the rod more power, the other to lend extra for good measure mythical power of the tattoo itself. The tattoo is carried out to the bars of the ink-dipped tip, while the tattoo (leg) or his assistant stretch the skin quickly and process (similar to the movement of the needle of the sewing machine) at a 90 degree angle to the skin backward moves thus piercing the skin and injecting ink into tattoos.

Although a variety of instruments are used to puncture (rod / tube) and body piercing (rake and stick) the results are not so different.


Cutting is also called scratching or scraping, but a method that differs significantly from puncture and piercing. As the name implies, the cutting process requires that up to 5 mm deep cuts are made are literally & # 39; carving & # 39; a tattoo on the skin ,. Once the cuts are made in tattoo ink rub. This method will not cause excruciating pain of the tattoo, what explains that the & # 39; Cutting & # 39; tattoos, not just the tattoo, but otherwise the act of sacrifice.

After a magical tattoos are not far from sufficient to be protected from harm, for example, or supernatural powers. In order to develop the full magic of the tattoo to be a monk. It monks have to say prayers during tattooing process and does not even need to blow it out of the finished tattoo to activate magic abilities in performing tasks. The location of the tattoo is also crucial. For example, if a snake tattoo is not the ankle it will not protect you from snake bites.

other tattoos methods Tebori technique used by the methods Maoris of New Zealand (Maori mask) and the method used by the Alaska and Canadian Inuit tribe, I mention here without ending the sake intends to further improve them in this time and place.

At the outset of this chapter I want to make a quick trip to Burma & # 39; and now, as this will help to better understand the following. I often hear or read things like & # 39; Tattoos have always been in place since the Burmese culture Shans acquired the craft in South China before so I Burma & # 39;. Composition like this, or words to that effect, testify to a serious lack of knowledge on the subject & # 39; History of Burma & # 39; The mentioned writing or saying such things. Why is this so? This is so because it is simply not true, seriously misleading to say the least. Let me explain; Words such as when you get the impression that at the material time (ie over 200 hundred years or more), Burma and the Burmese culture already existed. This is definitely not the case. Why not? At that time, the tattoos and tattoo art has become part of the culture of the Shan Burmese arrival of the first in the region that is now part of Burma are still more than 1,100 years. When the Burmans had arrived tattoos play an important role in the cultures of different ethnic groups make up the population, which is now Burma (aka Myanmar since 1989). And by the Mon were once very powerful people in powerful kingdoms in what is now southern Burma and Thailand before too long cultures tattoos release of the first Burman. Keep in mind that the drug did not talk about Burma nor Thailand existed. What existed was the H kingdoms, kingdoms and the PYU Shan kingdoms.

The independent country of Burma's only 68 years old (in Myanmar as it is also called, since 1989, only 27 years), so that the authorities of Burma / Myanmar in the light of a very young country, and this is not correct to talk about Burma tattoo, let alone ancient Burmese tattoos or Burmese culture. What existed before 1948 (the year the British colonial Burma was granted independence by the British) was before British colonial Burma, a number of kingdoms such as H kingdoms, the PYU kingdoms of the Arakan kingdoms Shan kingdoms and many smaller and larger Bamar kingdoms. But for the sake of a better understanding I will call it & # 39; Burmese culture & # 39; and & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39;.

So we & # 39; s go back to the topic & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39;. Before answering the question, what exactly it is the so-called & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39; that & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39;. The answer to this is: & # 39; In addition to the fact that the Burmese are made and that some tattoos include or be limited to writing frightening lack of Burma & # 39;. In other words, there is almost nothing about them typically Burma. Now they say & # 39; we have almost all Burmese tattooed on what's going on, especially men, and there & # 39; Burmese tattoos? & # 39; The answer is yes, a lot of tattoos in Burma, and if you find it OK prohibitively generalize things to the point without sorting says that every Burmese in respect of tattoos and otherwise Burmese yes – although it is not right – talk to & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39;. However, we recommend that you pay close attention to the historical facts I mentioned at the beginning, and the next.

that the majority of the Burmese tattooed, does not mean that the typical tattoos & # 39; Burmese-style tattoos & # 39;. The culture of the Bamar / Burma, after which the name of the country because they are the largest ethnic group was not in a tattoo culture, when the Bamar arrived in Burma today, but accepted the art of tattooing existing people and their culture. That is, it was not their tattoos when they arrived, and not developed their own characteristic Bamar / Burman tattoo styles and designs afterwards. And there is also no race in Burma, that the people of the same stock in a common culture, which is rightly called a & # 39; Burmese culture & # 39;.

Burma is a country rich in ethnic diversity and ethnic minorities are almost as their own tattoo designs to distinguish themselves from other tribes. This type of tattoo tribal tattoos and are there many Burmese, but not & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39;. Burma has many tattoos Buddhist, animist tattoos and a mixture of these, but then again, these are not the typical & # 39; Burmese-style tattoos & # 39;. Not enough examples? OK, here's another. We also see a lot of & # 39; healing tattoo & # 39; Burma, but they also are not clearly Burma because this type of tattoo is like any other tattoo culture using a combination of points and Stokes lines and acupuncture points within the system. Again, there is no way the & # 39; Burmese specially design & # 39;.

You will not have to identify a problem such as a Chinese tattoo that Chinese and Japanese tattoos that Japan look to them at the moment because of the highly distinctive designs, but this is not the so-called & # 39; Burmese Tattoos & # 39; Buddhist because they are using the same samples and samples used in other Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia and animist designs using them is noticeable different from that of the neighboring Buddhist countries and cultures of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Thus, the & # 39; Burma & # 39; Buddhist tattoos are not bearing a distinctive mark, even if the script of the tattoo because the text is in Pali.

However, there are very interesting and decorative tattoo designs and patterns, such as facial tattoos of tribes and Chin Shan trousers tattoo, which – although they are not clearly Burma – Burma is still renowned. The face tattoos do not make it anymore because it is prohibited by law since 1962, and pants tattoos lost its original function and became, & # 39; & # 39 deprecated.

Although facial tattoos are prohibited in the Chin tribes continue to practice until the end of their face tattoos tradition of the 1990s and there are rumors that the law would prohibit facial tattoos in remote rural areas they are still not always respected. Be that as it may, the fact is that the tradition of both the face and tattoos on his pants to extinction. Because of their majority older members of Chin and Shan communities who still proudly wearing these tattoos, and often live in remote villages in Arakan State (facial tattoos), Chin State (facial tattoos) and Shan State (pants tattoos) are highly sought after, as the last living pants and his face tattooed generations of professional photographers, anthropologists, ethnologists and tourists.

The following briefly describe my face and pants tattoo designs, tattoo their origins and processes. However, what I will confine myself to the latter & # 39; Technical & # 39; parts and do not include other aspects such as religious and ceremonial as well.

pants tattoos

pants tattoos found our way to the much, much later became Burma through China to Laos Shan.

The name of the tattoo design is self-evident, as it describes a tattoo; More precisely, a series of tattoos that if done right, is not like the shorts from the entire skin slightly below the kneecaps up to the waist.

Tattoo is always a painful thing, but pants and facial tattoos they fall into the category of extremely painful because it placed (at least partially) the human body & # 39; s most sensitive skin areas that reason can not be completed in a single session. Furthermore, in order to detect the nearby unbearable physical pain (especially inner thigh in very sensitive areas, groin, genitals and buttocks tattooed) prayed and meditated alone in the best possible chess is not (or not) is not enough . For this reason, the tattooed people were allowed to smoke opium, a significant amount of what they did.

The technique used by tattooists predominantly piercing a small bamboo rod and the color used in tattoos trousers only a very dark, almost black, blue. Each tattoo designs chosen to fill the & # 39; Trouser area & # 39; change can also be used as a / stand-alone design. Pants tattoos for the privilege of men.

First the design is drawn in parts of the skin, and then follow the lines that the tattoo ink is applied to the rod tip. The final step in this is to gently rub the ink into the skin. The completion of the pants, depending on the tattoo takes tattooed man in a traditional way & # 39; and pain tolerance usually two or more sessions lasting weeks (or even months is a must contain the cure schedule). The tattoo is often accompanied by friends to stretch the skin and give moral support.

tattoos, which were known to take a longer period of time, it is usually the rainy season, when you can not work outside, or should be.

How intense pain caused during the process of tattooing and is later during the healing process. definitely unthinkable, and is known only to those brave people who have gone through this ordeal.

This is not, of course, a huge amount of courage, superstitiousness, willpower, religious faith and moral support so as to undergo a very painful process getting yourself into a trouser tattoos or facial tattoos, for that matter, what will the next topic, the full-face tattoo.

facial tattoos

facial tattoos origins in China where these tattoos are very famous among Derung, Dai Li and ordinary woman, and she has a very long tradition. Burma is the Chin tribes, whose famous face tattoo, though not all share this age-old tradition.

Women in the Chin tribe to learn the art of making young facial tattoos, and only women / let the tattoos and tattoo. Especially non-Asians face tattoos definitely something to get used to because it's not exactly call it beautiful. Thus, when the facial tattoos are not enhance the beauty Chin why women tattoo their faces? Chin If you ask women this question, or if you look at the response to this publication, or you'll get various answers. Here are the most common; the pick.

a) In order to disguise the beauty, to prevent being kidnapped by the king and made one of the many associated.

b) In order to prevent the kidnapping of slave traders and sold.

c) In order to prevent

being raped enemy soldiers.

d) The defense against the demons.

e) the signal to mature and ready for marriage.

f) Cosmetic.

g) The sign of tribal identity.

h) In order to gain access to heaven after death.

Personally, I think the reason for Chin women who face (neck) all or most of the mixture tattoos am an explanation.

We apply the facial tattoo designs every tribe has a different one. Some comprises of several geometric shapes, some vertical lines, dots, a spider web, a few butterflies and bees, etc.

The ink used for these tattoos. Getting a tattoo is to expose ourselves to face extreme physical pain. The process, which usually begins with a tattoo on the forehead, the continuous eyebrows, eyelids, the space between the eyes, face, and is often additionally neck neck tattoo briefly described below.

First design made on the skin. Then, with a little stick dipped in ink, almost paste-like tattoo ink made from the skin. An approximately 2 inches / 5 cm long lime pin the needle pointed or placed on the tip of a bamboo stick, or simply use hold it firmly between your thumb and index finger under the skin rapid up and down movement similar to the movement of the paint on the sewing machine needle perforated our simultaneously injects the ink into the skin. Finally, the ink is gently rubbed into the skin deeper. The most painful part of the tattoo eyebrows and eyelids.

How long does a full facial tattoo depends, as always in pain tolerance of a tattooed man. Parts of the full-face tattoo is more than one year.

Source by Markus Burman

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