The Indian community that has been at the forefront of skin protection for decades now believes in tattoos, especially for women.
“There has been a trend in the past few years with a lot of new women that are having the bodies of Indian women,” said David, a member of the South Carolina Native Women’s Association in Columbia, S.C.
“Many of the young women that are coming and having the bodies and the body type that they are choosing has been brought to it, because of tattoos.”
David said that tattoos were actually in vogue in the 1970s, then in the 1980s with the spread of alternative rock and with the proliferation of hip-hop culture.
“People were just looking for different ideas and options for what they wanted,” David said. “Tattoos were very prevalent among many women at the time, but with the proliferation of hip-hop culture and the women who are becoming empowered today it is just in a greater, more widespread use.”
It’s a trend that David said has even spread to the country’s high schools and universities, where many students choose to have tribal tattoos.
She said the tattoos have also played into women’s empowerment.
“Women today with the way tattoos are going, women are going to be able to access the power of the body and do so in a different way than just looking at a picture in a magazine,” she said.
Another trend, she said, stems from the use of tattoos on other body parts besides the face, such as breasts by women and genitalia by men.
“The reason people have tattoos and the way they have been incorporated in our daily lives is because they are symbols that represent their belief System,” David said. “It’s how we express our values, it’s how we celebrate and it’s who we are. You can’t have two things without the whole thing.”
When asked whether tattoo culture can be a source of cultural assimilation, she said that in many ways it can.
“People are learning and changing as time goes on,” David said.
Her family is a traditional Cherokee tribe and David said there is still some reservation culture left. She said that some parents have even considered tattooing their children as it can provide a positive outlet for a child.
Some tribes in South Carolina have banned tattoos, but in most cases people with those tattoos have opted to have the tattoos removed or covered up.
Other tribes have no
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