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August 09, 2006



My friends who've chosen to be inked cite reasons remarkably similar to yours, Hugo.

I'm curious and would enjoy knowing what your tattoos depict, if they are representational and if you're willing to share that information. :-)


The tats on my back are both Maori designs I found in a book. One, right at the top of my spine, is simply beautiful and abstract. On my center spine is a bird in flight, symbolizing (at least for me) rebirth.

On my arm is a Celtic shield of protection -- it's my favorite, I had it done in Florence by an amazing tattoist named Giulio Tomasselli.


Wow, they must be beautiful!


Desi, no problem. But please post under one name. From the same IP address I have had comments recently from a didi, bobby, Freddy, and Bette.


I too have written about this:

The dawn patrol comments are hillarious.


I recently got a tattoo on my upper back. The design (a nude angel, bleeding from a wound on her chest, with a star forming in the blood) is rather provacative and so when people see it, they often ask what it means. Which poses a problem, because it means many things to me, several of them directly contradicting each other, and few intensely personal. I don't want to be dishonest and dismiss their question with a simple "because it's pretty" (although it certainly is that) but explaining all these things is a hassle. Any thoughts as to how deal with this? Also, do you find that people ask that question no matter what the tattoo is?


Folks ask all the time. I usually say "I found this design, and loved it." And I leave it at that -- the WHY I love it needn't be disclosed.


It's a passage in Leviticus (19:28), but as always, Christians who are fine with eating shrimp and bacon have no business citing the rest of Leviticus as binding.

There's an interesting Reform Judaism document about the prohibition on tattoos, and how it doesn't apply to all markings, just those that would be idolatrous; I'll see if I can find it.

Dawn Eden has long passed the mark where "making outrageous crap up" and "wingnut" have ceased to have any meaningful differentiation.


Yeah, I'd like to see the tatoo naysayers to voice their objections to many of the Christian Samoans who sport traditional tattoos, e.g. the "flying fox" design known as pe'a. And these are still done in the traditional way - by hand with a shark (or boar)-tooth comb that's tapped against your skin over a period of three months. A telling sign of identity (and the ability to endure sharp pain).


Since you often wear tee shirts to teach in, I've seen the tat on the back of your neck and the one on your upper bicep, but not the bird in the middle of your back. You should post some pictures!

I have a small dolphin on my lower back, which I know is probably very typical. It's bright blue, and about three inches across. That did it for me , way more pain than I ever want to voluntarily go through ever again!!


Hugo I really hope you read up on the significance of the Maori tattoos before you got them.

It's not my place to police a culture that isn't mine (in that I'm pakeha)but it's just possible that you might be sending a message that you didn't really intend to send (or hell you might just have a standard koru pattern and I'm getting worried about nothing).


Good insight on tattoos, Hugo. I've been thinking about getting one on my lower back of (take a wild guess) a mermaid. I don't think I'll do it though - too scared that I'll freak out and regret it afterwards. And although I understand your position as a Christian, I'm still not sure about how I feel about tattooing in relation to my faith. It's fun to think about, though! By the way, Jeremy is Irish and loves your Celtic shield!

Vibrating Liz

They do sound beautiful, and I love the whole valuing of your body idea. But "permanence"? Alas, nothing about the body is "permanent."

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