Usually you find that people have a story, personal or not, a symbolic reason for wanting a particular image or merger of images embossed on whatever part of their bodies.
Many more Ghanaians are embracing wearing tattoos, perhaps as a fashion statement. Pretty butterflies, flowers, hearts, the Holy Cross, pictures of notable personalities such as Jesus Christ, Bob Marley, and even whole scenes from a movie summarized in pictures in ‘full sleeve’ on a person’s arm are a few of the millions of tattoos that grace the arms, legs, necks, and lower backs of many people.
Moving away from the stigma that surrounded them, tattoos are gradually becoming maybe a little more than a fashion statement. Strategically placed on parts of the body that are usually not covered by clothes, some see tattoos as beauty enhancements.
You often find such tattoos on the lower back on girls to complement low-waisted jeans, or on the fore arm on guys to show off their biceps in a complementary tank top. It can also be placed on the inner wrist, or on ankles, often complemented with a bracelet or an anklet.
However, far more than being a “fashion of the times”, tattooing is yet another flow of the universal force of art to capture the symbolic. The art of tattooing dates back Neolithic times.
Tattooing, in the period of 1766 and 1779, was mostly a practice indulged by people of the aristocracy. It was conjectured that many of the Anglo-Saxon Kings were tattooed.
However, many centuries later, in the 21st century, there has been a reversal. Tattooing is a popular social practice more for ordinary people and less so for the aristocracy
Danny Kresnag, a journalist who has run a few Tattoo studios, speaks about the two different types of people who look to get tattoos: People who are different and want to express that, and people who want to be different. “Those are the two balances and I can usually tell really quickly what school they’re coming from.
If a person walks into the shop and their first question is, ‘How much for this?’ It’s usually someone in the second group. But if it’s someone who comes in and they’ve thought it out, money is usually the last question that you ask.”
Thus, tattooing is both a light-hearted and symbolic thing. In the past, tattooing by certain warriors was done for purposes of frightening. Now, it’s for various reasons.
Usually you find that people have a story, personal or not, a symbolic reason for wanting a particular image or merger of images embossed on whatever part of their bodies. It usually takes a really good tattoo artist, who can listen to you and understand you to get what you want right.
Tattooing is a raging art form in this century, a powerful and fascinating medium of self-expression. There is something quite exhilarating in painting or decorating, quite permanently, your body with symbols that mean something to you and, in a manner, document important landmarks in your life, remind you of periods in your lives and emotions you went through.
Even more exhilarating is the art of it, the pictures, the colour, and the intricacies of capturing an emotion, a force with needle, ink and on the natural canvas of skin.
Would you wear a tattoo? Why or why not?