Different Cultures Perspective on Tattoos

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Updated: Dec 02, 2022
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According to Webster dictionary, “”A tattoo is an indelible mark or figure fixed upon the body by insertion of pigment under the skin or by production of scars.”” Many people in the world get tattoos to show what they have been through, to represent something or someone that have much love for, or just because they are addicted. Many different cultures embrace tattoos in different ways. Someone may notice a tattoo on someone and automatically know what culture they are from because of the design or placement of the tattoo.

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Most people don’t accept people because their tattoos, but if they knew the reason behind them they may change their perspective about them. Many different cultures express their emotions through different designs, patterns and colors in tattoos. This is important today because many people continue to get tattoo to represent their fears or strengths. To what extent does tattoos have on a person’s identity?


In the Samoan culture, tattoos differ between men and women. Women get tattoos on their lower body such as below their knees to their upper thighs. Women’s tattoo designs are often called “”Malu.”” Men in the Samoan culture often get their tattoos from their knees to their waist, and these tattoos are called “”pe’a””. There are many different types of designs that men and women get and they have different meanings. “”The tattoo and designs of the Samoa islands represents community, power, status, respect, honor, and is a mark of pride that are only to be worn by Samoans”” (Significance 3). A design that is exceedling popular in the Samoa culture is a “”pattern made in the circular limits which are symbolizing waves of the ocean”” (Significance 9). Also, another tattoo design that is popular for the women is the feather tattoo because it represents their love and passion for nature. Women in the samoan culture often get tattoos that symbolize nature, such as butterflies, shark teeth, flowers, feathers etc. Many people in the samoan culture go through the pain of getting a tattoo because they have deep sentimental meanings behind them and those meanings represent their culture.


In the Japanese culture tattoos represent many different things. Although the Japanese culture is not very open to tattoos, they tend to be associated with crime and gangs. The criminals were tattooed on their forehead so people could see they committed a crime. When someone committed a crime, they tattooed a line. “”The first time the criminal get one line across the forehead, the second time a line across the first line, curved towards left. The third time, they add another line on the right”” (Kurihah 5). Many gangs in modern Japanese society have tattoos on their entire bodies such as dragons. Dragons in the Japanese culture symbolize strength and ferocity. Dragons are very destructive animals but they are also considered guardians. “”Wisdom is another trait attributed to dragons. These positive connotations have made dragon tattoos among the most popular of Japanese style tattoos”” (Squires 4). Women love the deeper associations with the dragon meanings, wisdom, fertility, happiness, and unlimited potential. For men, The dragon represents “”power, magic, greed, and duality”” for those who have battled forces in their life, the dragon symbolizes “”strength, ferocity and being a warrior”” (Dragons 9).


When many people think of India and tattoos, they think of Henna. This is done by staining the hands or legs using henna leaf paste. Henna has become more popular even among non-Indians, and many people choose to have the permanent tattoo version drawn on their hands and feet. There are many different designs that indians use to represent their culture.

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Different Cultures Perspective on Tattoos. (2020, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/different-cultures-perspective-on-tattoos/