Tattooing in the Marshall Islands
A Future For Marshallese Tattooing?
At present the
The Marshallese national identity is not (yet) challenged. Throughout modern history, and despite the invaguaries of colonial administrations,  the Marshallese have proven to be a cohesive group with strong ties to their home atolls, although not without some elitism of the southern atolls and the inevitable inter-atoll jibes. A common and predominant language, Kajin Majol prevails, and previously existent boundaries of regional dialects imposed by traditional communication systems have become blurred if not obliterated altogether. 
Yet on the other hand, like in other parts of
In addition, social pressures within a family have increased as the available resources became less for each individual. The increase in the average size of households on outer islands is an indicator for the trend of concentration and increasing internal pressures. Modern urban society based on a monetary system of exchange tends to favour a general loss of identity and a loss of male role models to strive for. This is hardly surprising. Of the traditional male role models most have entirely or largely ceased to be relevant or socially permissible: excellence and endurance in voyaging, excellence and bravery in warfare, endurance of pain in elaborate tattooing, excellence in fishing, excellence in horticultural food production. All that has been offered as a replacement as male values is copra production, which, as far as the urban centres is concerned is also not applicable. In the urban centres, as expected, the incidence of suicides is the highest. 
Tattooing serves in some countries as a rallying point for personal and national pride.
Tattooing may once again play an important role in identifying the Marshallese (male) self if modern, Christian belief-induced values can be overcome.
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