tattoo Untitled design

History of Tattoo in India

Nowadays, the trend has become very famous in India. A lot of young boys and girls are getting inked by being inspired by the western culture. There were many western countries where they used to consider the art of tattooing as a taboo. Only gangsters used to get a tattoo, there were law in some countries to tattoo the face of prisoners, etc. Recently, around a decade back, people have started accepting tattoos as an art or self-expression. And the trend started to get viral on social media platforms. People started to follow those trends and now tattoos have become very common.

In India, the art of tattoos (godna, Hindi) has been going on for a long period of time. No one knows how old it is, as it remains a part of the culture of some tribes. During pre-historical times, ancient people were fascinated by the drawings they used to see on stone or wood walls. The curiosity led to them trying the art on their body with sharp needles and stones, which led to the discovery of tattoo art. Some tribes synced the practice of tattooing to their culture, which made it a popular ritual, and every member of that tribe used to get tattooed. 

Till now, there are tribes in India who are following their rich heritage and culture, because it is seen that with modernization people tend to forget about their culture and heritage. But Indian people always promote the rich heritage and culture of their ancestors. There are many tribes in India who still practice the art of tattooing as a part of their culture and to show their respect to their ancestors. 

Tattoo Studio

Here are some of the tribes which started getting tattoos in the past and they are still continuing this ritual now. 

The A.O. Naga Tribe:

This tribe is from Nagaland. They call the art of tattooing Gondan. It is a practice that women of this tribe follow by tattooing their face and hands. This art of tattooing has become a ritual of this tribe and every female woman of this tribe is considered to get this tattoo when they hit adolescence and if they disagree with getting a tattoo, then it is considered as a shame and they will not marry in the future.

The process of tattooing involves the girl needing to be on the ground and if she screams in pain, then a bird is forfeited close by to kill the evil spirit which is causing the pain. This tattoos design is done using cane thrones and sticks and no men are allowed during this ritual as this is the rule of the tribe, and this culture is still continuing now. 

The Apatani Tribe:

This tribe is from Arunachal Pradesh. They used the art of tattooing to make their young girls less appealing to the rival neighboring tribes, otherwise they abduct their prettiest women. Their tattooing procedure involved using thorns to cut the skin and soot mixed in animal fat to fill in the deep blue color. For tattoos to become larger, darker and clearer, the wounds are allowed to get infected. Seeing this, the Indian government put a complete ban on this practice in the 1970’s. But in the northeast region there are some parts which are untouched and this practice of tattooing is still going on. 

The Toda Tribe:

This tribe is from Tamil Nadu. They have the most famous and long-lasting tattoo, which is known as Pachakutharathu. According to this tribe, they consider that these ancient tattoos will save them from evil spirits till they meet with their ancestor’s energy in heaven. The artist who made this design was known as Korathi tattoo artist who went to the countryside in search of clients. The design which helps them in entailing the evil spirit is known as kollam. They basically use geometric shapes which are outlined in a cross-stitch pattern. 

The Rabaris:

This tattoo tribe is from Gujrat. They are known to make Trajva tattoos. It is considered the traditional tattoo of the tribe. The ink for this tattoo is prepared with the bark of a local kino tree mixed with mothers’ milk or urine. They get this because they think that this practice will increase their strength as the procedure of tattoos is painful and unbearable. The other reason is that the bare skin is regarded as horrible, so they especially tattoo the bride before her wedding. The women of this tribe get tattoos of scorpions and snakes on their faces. Neck and breast. The men have camels on the back of their right palm.  

Final Words,

These are some of the tribes of India who have been using the art of tattoos for a long period of time and now the younger generation of these tribes are also doing the same thing by keeping their culture alive. That’s why the tattoos culture of India is rich and heritage. 

Tattoo in India

In modern times, the art is the same but the technique of doing these tattoos has changed. Now it is done with the help of needles, which causes a lot less pain than thrones or sticks. Also, with this modernization, tattoo artists have also tried experimenting with tribal tattoo design, which has become an instant hit. There are a lot of tattoo studio in Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune who would do this tribal tattoo design. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *