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The magazine of the photo-essay
May 2017 issue
Ancient Marks:  Sacred Tattoos and Body Markings Across the Globe
by Chris Rainier
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Man has marked the land with sacred gestures since the dawn of civilization. So too he has marked his body, to charge his skin with power and spiritual meaning that grounds him to the earth, to his primordial origins. From the harsh savannah of Africa to the rich jungles of Indonesia, from the Japanese mafia named the Yakuza, to the modern urban expressions of body marking found at Burning Man - humans are drawn to expressions of love and hate, war and peace, individualism and collective tribal bonding.   For ten years I travelled the globe, following the flow of the sacred ink, searching for human expressions of why we mark our bodies.  Here are the people I met and the distant places I briefly touched upon.
Japanese Ikuza woman with tattoo, Tokyo.
Xingu Woman, Xingu tribe, Brazil. A type of tattooing using the Jipae plant.
Polynesian Man with facial Moko. Marqueses Island, French Polynesia.
Woman with full back tattoo. Burning Man Festival, Nevada.
Moroccan woman, Henna hands (a form of temporary tattooing). Moroccan Sahara.
Ikuza man at Sacred Rock Garden. Kyoto, Japan.
Three Modern Primitive Tattoo artists. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco.
Two men, with their Noah’s Ark on burned out computer and TVs. Burning Man, Nevada.
Buddhist Monk, Bayon Temple. Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
New Guinea Crocodile scarification. Middle Sepik, New Guinea.
Mentawai Island Man in water. Mentawai tribes, Indonesia.
Mentawai man with Monkey Skulls. Mentawai Island, Indonesia.
Tattooed Rana woman in front of the Taj Mahal, India.
Borneo Dayak man. Central Borneo.
New Zealand Maori. Milford Sound, New Zealand.
Free Wind Tattoo Artist. Moorea Island, Tahiti.
Mentawai girl, with full traditional tattoos. Mentawai Islands, Indonesia.
Mentawai girl with back tattoos. Mentawai Islands.
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