tattooing histroy > Info Center > Tattoos in the Middleeast and Borneo

Tattoos in the Middleeast and Borneotattooing histroy

There are many facets of tattoos in different countries. Though there are some similarities in the styles of tattooing in this day and age, some “old school” styles are still practiced, such as tap. You can see tap at most tattoo conventions held in your area. Several countries will be covered throughout different articles, feel free to stop by and read up on them all. Knowing the background, and geographics of tattooing can help you in understanding what your clients may want.

Some of the international examples would be :

* Arabic Tattoos, and tattooing in the middle east, in places such as Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Palestine are once again discovering tattooing. Until the 19th century tattoos were a way for arabic prostitutes to catch the eye of a man. However, erotic tattoos such as breast tattoos aren’t quite as popular as they were once in the middle east. Gypsies and nomadic people seem to influence most designs in tattoos in the middle east. The nomadic women were by far the most heavily tattooed, and were most likely tattooed by the gypsies. The gypsies tended to tattoo people from Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt up until the 20th century.

In Iran, it was common for upper class women to have patterns tattooed on their chins. The designs were sometimes very elaborate, and resembled that of a beared. Along side the chin tattoos, it was common for women to tattoo their lips blue, as it was considered to embody beauty. Beliefs attached to tattoos in the middle east often corresponded with thinking the wearer was imbued with magical power, these tattoos often times were dots or small crosses. They usually adorned the hands, and feet, they believed that they either provided strength or protection.

However, in this day and age, the demand for tattoos among Iranian, and other middle eastern women has exploded. Iranian who are tattooed , however must keep them under wraps due to the authorities.


Much like the middle-east, Borneo has had a rich tradition that could be traced back for centuries. Though, unlike most of the middle-east, it has kept a stronghold in the community.
The Kyan tribe are the source of most tattooing which was then spread to other tribes. The tattooing is preformed using a “wood block stamp” Style tattooing. The tattooist will carve patterns into blocks of wood, and transfer it to the skin. Though Kyan are generally the source, the Iban tribe is by far the most heavily tattooed. The most common designs are throat motifs, and wrist tattoos. Scorpions, dogs, and rosettes are the most popular. The rosette is believe to be the symbolism for a dogs eye. Though, others say it is a flower

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