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Old 10-22-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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Question Another contravercial tattoo question.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and give me your feedback.
I read, in another thread, a girls' question about native American stylized tattoos. This community came down pretty harshly on her, and for good reason, as she was interested in the symbolism purely as art. And while the patterns and colors used in native American art, symbols, etc. IS beautiful, this is a very isocentric view. I deeply understand the meanings and importance of such imagery and do not take lightly permanently marking myself with these images.
I have given a lot of time and thought to some things I would want permanently on my body and the deep meanings, feelings, and culture behind much native art and symbols is not just at the top, but the only thing on the list.
So here is my question.
With my mind made up, and the knowledge that I have been through so much in my life, please tell me how it would come across to put these on my body.
I like the idea of symbols. Crossed arrows. A broken arrow. The symbol for Luck. A wise and watchful eye. A warding of evil spirits. In addition to animal sybolism, traditional eagle for guidance, bear for strength, etc.

I have my mind made up, but again I am not looking to offend. While there is native blood in these veins, it is not much and I don't want to use that as an excuse as I was not brought up that way at all.
Just know I understand the ramifications of these actions.
Please give me your advice and feedback.
I will answer any questions.

Thank you,
-H

Last edited by Thisistheday; 10-22-2015 at 08:49 PM..
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisistheday View Post
Thank you for taking the time to read this and give me your feedback.
I read, in another thread, a girls' question about native American stylized tattoos. This community came down pretty harshly on her, and for good reason, as she was interested in the symbolism purely as art. And while the patterns and colors used in native American art, symbols, etc. IS beautiful, this is a very isocentric view. I deeply understand the meanings and importance of such imagery and do not take lightly permanently marking myself with these images.
I have given a lot of time and thought to some things I would want permanently on my body and the deep meanings, feelings, and culture behind much native art and symbols is not just at the top, but the only thing on the list.
So here is my question.
With my mind made up, and the knowledge that I have been through so much in my life, please tell me how it would come across to put these on my body.
I like the idea of symbols. Crossed arrows. A broken arrow. The symbol for Luck. A wise and watchful eye. A warding of evil spirits. In addition to animal sybolism, traditional eagle for guidance, bear for strength, etc.

I have my mind made up, but again I am not looking to offend. While there is native blood in these veins, it is not much and I don't want to use that as an excuse as I was not brought up that way at all.
Just know I understand the ramifications of these actions.
Please give me your advice and feedback.
I will answer any questions.

Thank you,
-H
That says it all ! Doesn't matter what anyone thinks.

You asked for an opinion , I'll just say this: If you want to look stupid , do it ! That's my opinion.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:04 AM   #3
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Since you say you have made up your mind, knock yourself out. Be sure you know what is what, or you are liable to end up like that bad cartoon where the girl gets a tat she thinks is Chinese for pretty or something like that, but really means slut.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:17 AM   #4
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Subeeds,
Thank you for your thoughts.
What you say is true, but if I could read Japanese I may have interest in something that meant a lot to me.
I see where you're coming from, but at the same time, I need you to see where I am. We're not talking about putting a pretty picture on me, we're talking about marking myself with something that means something to me and at the same time holds so much of its own meaning.
I find a lot of inspiration from your culture, all I ask is that you open your mind to mine. People mark themselves. Usually with careless thoughtless pictures of corporate symbols and "dragon tattoos" with misunderstood meanings. I, on the other hand, know the meanings behind these symbols and these deep symbolic signs speak to me. I don't understand what exactly would happen to change the way I see these meanings and the culture they represent.
Please consider this outside point of view.
-H
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:21 AM   #5
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Wardancer,
It is not just anyones' opinion I care about. But the people who's heritage defines these symbols opinion does matter to me. I would never want to offend a people who's ideals and culture gives me such rich inspiration.
-H
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:07 AM   #6
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Where are you getting your information on these symbols? Your list sounds suspiciously like those antique postcards on Indian symbols or the charts you'll sometimes see in places that sell vintage stamped southwestern jewelry.

Vintage Postcards of Jewelry Stamps

I'm not Dine or from that area of the country so I don't know if this info is legit. But I frame in within my experience as an artist. When I started silversmithing, jewelry made with these stamps was passing out of fashion, but the stamps were still sold to jewelers in IJS, Thunderbird and the like. I remember one eager salesman give me the rundown on the "meaning" of a couple of stamps.

It seems to me these symbols have been created with in the context of intercultural trade. I've taken more than a few pieces of beadwork and jewelry to galleries. And I've been asked by the gallery buyer or the end purchaser if some design element or other has some esoteric meaning. I learned pretty fast, they didn't want to hear no. It impacts your bottom line. So, I've been known to spin a tale to romance a piece. The extra $100-200 gets you a little of my creative writing, LOL.

Last edited by OLChemist; 10-23-2015 at 08:30 AM.. Reason: Expanded post
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:26 AM   #7
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All cultures encode information in visual symbols. These are understood within the context of that culture's history, religion and esthetic vocabulary. Native peoples are no different. Native peoples, however, have had our arts and religions alternately suppressed and pillaged to fulfill the needs of the dominant culture. In that process, old symbols have been appropriated and distorted, and new hybrid symbols created.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisistheday View Post
I find a lot of inspiration from your culture, all I ask is that you open your mind to mine.
Since you asked us to be open to your culture, I'm going to go request some explanation of your perspective. If you have indeed selected a genuine symbol of a particular tribe's culture, there are a few things I'd like to ask you:

1) What makes you, as an admitted outsider, think you fully understand the meaning of a symbol and the acceptable contexts in which it may be used? Is it because our cultures were historically termed primitive and thus must be easier to understand and free of the intellectual property constraints of "sophisticated" dominant culture?

2) You clearly declared your intention to mark yourself with symbols you attribute to us. Why do you feel free help yourself? Is it because you will respectfully steal our IP?

3) Why are you even asking? Are my objections going to make one iota of difference? Or will I just be one more inconvenient Indian standing athwart dominant culture desires?

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Old 10-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #8
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Where do you live, and will your tats be visible to people? As you travel around people will look at those tats, try to "read" you.

I've looked into Celtic designs for myself, but many Aryan Brotherhood members have taken these as white supremacy symbols. I would not want to be mistaken as AB.

Many New Agers also like the Celtic and Druid symbols, so I'm going to be mistaken for them.

Out here in Southern Calif people are getting tats on their little kids, and the Hipster Generation is covered in ink, even the girls you see, complete upper torso.

Another big business now is the Laser Removal for tats, many reasons, but a lot of former gang members get "cleaned up" so they stop getting hassled, and to get jobs.

This Is The Day, and tats will get attention every day. Or not
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Old 10-23-2015, 01:55 PM   #9
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In a certain ceremony performed by my people, markings are made with charcoal on a patience's body that resemble distinct symbols for the duration of the ritual. However, these marking are removed at the conclusion of the ceremony because that is when the healing process starts.

I don't care what anyone does to their bodies, but one is only asking for trouble if any of these symbols are placed on the body and worn as art.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisistheday View Post
Wardancer,
It is not just anyones' opinion I care about. But the people who's heritage defines these symbols opinion does matter to me. I would never want to offend a people who's ideals and culture gives me such rich inspiration.
-H
But you have , and you will. It doesn't matter how you try to justify it , because you've already decided. I have no idea why you even ask because it really doesn't matter. You are going to steal another cultures symbols and use them in a way that was never intended for them to be used. You will never gain respect for that , no matter how good the intentions are ! So just do whatever you want and don't ask us to approve it.....cause we won't !
__________________
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisistheday View Post
Thank you for taking the time to read this and give me your feedback.
I read, in another thread, a girls' question about native American stylized tattoos. This community came down pretty harshly on her, and for good reason, as she was interested in the symbolism purely as art. And while the patterns and colors used in native American art, symbols, etc. IS beautiful, this is a very isocentric view. I deeply understand the meanings and importance of such imagery and do not take lightly permanently marking myself with these images.
I have given a lot of time and thought to some things I would want permanently on my body and the deep meanings, feelings, and culture behind much native art and symbols is not just at the top, but the only thing on the list.
So here is my question.
With my mind made up, and the knowledge that I have been through so much in my life, please tell me how it would come across to put these on my body.
I like the idea of symbols. Crossed arrows. A broken arrow. The symbol for Luck. A wise and watchful eye. A warding of evil spirits. In addition to animal sybolism, traditional eagle for guidance, bear for strength, etc.

I have my mind made up, but again I am not looking to offend. While there is native blood in these veins, it is not much and I don't want to use that as an excuse as I was not brought up that way at all.
Just know I understand the ramifications of these actions.
Please give me your advice and feedback.
I will answer any questions.

Thank you,
-H
You wasted your time, and other's time. Such a waste.
__________________


Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

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Old 10-24-2015, 04:42 PM   #12
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:55 PM   #13
Ugh. As. If.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardancer View Post
That says it all ! Doesn't matter what anyone thinks.

You asked for an opinion , I'll just say this: If you want to look stupid , do it ! That's my opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by subeeds View Post
Since you say you have made up your mind, knock yourself out. Be sure you know what is what, or you are liable to end up like that bad cartoon where the girl gets a tat she thinks is Chinese for pretty or something like that, but really means slut.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
All cultures encode information in visual symbols. These are understood within the context of that culture's history, religion and esthetic vocabulary. Native peoples are no different. Native peoples, however, have had our arts and religions alternately suppressed and pillaged to fulfill the needs of the dominant culture. In that process, old symbols have been appropriated and distorted, and new hybrid symbols created.



Since you asked us to be open to you culture, I'm going to go request some explanation of your perspective. If you have indeed selected a genuine symbol of a particular tribe's culture, there are a few things I'd like to ask you:

1) What makes you, as an admitted outsider, think you fully understand the meaning of a symbol and the acceptable contexts in which it may be used? Is it because our cultures were historically termed primitive and thus must be easier to understand and free of the intellectual property constraints of "sophisticated" dominant culture?

2) You clearly declared your intention to mark yourself with symbols you attribute to us. Why do you feel free help yourself? Is it because you will respectfully steal our IP?

3) Why are you even asking? Are my objections going to make one iota of difference? Or will I just be one more inconvenient Indian standing athwart dominant culture desires?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wardancer View Post
But you have , and you will. It doesn't matter how you try to justify it , because you've already decided. I have no idea why you even ask because it really doesn't matter. You are going to steal another cultures symbols and use them in a way that was never intended for them to be used. You will never gain respect for that , no matter how good the intentions are ! So just do whatever you want and don't ask us to approve it.....cause we won't !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
You wasted your time, and other's time. Such a waste.





whoa whoa whoa!!!! i'm sensing some hostility here guys jus chill aight


i happen to be a tattoo artist who learned from the best. just check out some samples of my high quality work, see attachments.


beautiful aren't they? i happen to have some free time at the moment and i would be happy to hook you up with an authentic native symbol tattoo from a real native american! woo hoo!
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:17 PM   #14
Ugh. As. If.
 
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okie dokie all done! what'll yall think?
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:09 AM   #15
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While I do have great interest, I have not done anything yet and won't if it will be as insulting as you all seem to interpret it as.
No they will not be visible, again they aren't to show off, they would be to hold a meaning to me.
True, there are lots of symbols out there that could be used that wouldn't be "stealing". The shame is that all my cultures symbols have been raped and overused to the point that they no longer hold any meaning. Just another reason I turned to these because they hold great meaning and with such a blind eye turned to your culture I don't see that happening to them.
Glad everyone has kept an open mind.
Guess I will abandon my choices as, as I have said, I do not wish to offend.
Thanks for your advice.

And to the artist, I would love to know more, but I am in florida so I don't know how realistic the idea of getting work from you would be.

-H
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:52 AM   #16
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Strange how many people get random tattoos these days. Everywhere. It won't keep you warm. Belonging to a group identification? Free born (without tattoos) narrows natural freedom. Because it shows your belonging to something or someone. Try body painting, can wash it up when you feel tired of looking at it after 40 years. I won't talk about sacred tattoos since I have no clue about this but generally speaking, I don't like tattoos, no matter how pretty they look. My opinion.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:17 AM   #17
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This symbol was stolen by others, still misused / used today to represent evil
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:08 AM   #18
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Thank you for listening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisistheday View Post
The shame is that all my cultures symbols have been raped and overused to the point that they no longer hold any meaning. Just another reason I turned to these because they hold great meaning and with such a blind eye turned to your culture I don't see that happening to them.
You don't see it because you're an outsider. But it has happened/is happening to us. I can take you on a road trip through the US and show you: distorted images of Shalakos used as signs to denote the gender of rest rooms, a state flag with a Pueblo symbol rendered in the colors of ancient Spain, drunken bikers with medicine wheel tattoos, an Anglo storefront fortune teller who will lay out a deck of tarot cards adorned with symbols taken from Lakota ceremonial altars, appropriated Cherokee depictions of the water spider tattooed on the knee of Anglo college girl, Yeis painted on the wall of a tourist trap, fake totem poles in front of gas stations, clan crests tattooed on the arm of a man who hadn't even heard of the Tribe whose symbol he had stolen.... How long do you have for the road trip?
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:20 PM   #19
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This symbol was stolen by others, still misused / used today to represent evil
.




swastika accompanied humanity since the dawn of its history, runs through all cultures and civilizations
She was also and Slavic swastika
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:24 PM   #20
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Thank you for listening.



You don't see it because you're an outsider. But it has happened/is happening to us. I can take you on a road trip through the US and show you: distorted images of Shalakos used as signs to denote the gender of rest rooms, a state flag with a Pueblo symbol rendered in the colors of ancient Spain, drunken bikers with medicine wheel tattoos, an Anglo storefront fortune teller who will lay out a deck of tarot cards adorned with symbols taken from Lakota ceremonial altars, appropriated Cherokee depictions of the water spider tattooed on the knee of Anglo college girl, Yeis painted on the wall of a tourist trap, fake totem poles in front of gas stations, clan crests tattooed on the arm of a man who hadn't even heard of the Tribe whose symbol he had stolen.... How long do you have for the road trip?
And let us not forget Kokopelli.

Looks like he's playing a trumpet, eh?
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