Tattooing in the Marshall Islands
In addition to the pigment tattoos the Marshallese also used scar tattooing, although much less frequently. Scar tattooing is not tattooing in the strict sense. This type of body ornamentation is differentiated by some ethnographers into "real" scar tattooing, i.e. the piercing, slicing or cutting away of skin, and burnmarks, caused by the application of a hot item, or by insertion and setting alight of flammable material under the skin. All types of this tattooing cause a scar, thus creating a three-dimensional ornament.
German sources mention that scar tattooing
A photograph of a chest tattoo of a man from
It would appear that scar tattooing, to commemorate the death of a relative, was common in the
Having discussed the individual tattoo motifs, as well as the general tattoo designs, let us now have a look at the implements and utensils associated with making tattoos, before going to discuss the tattooing ceremonies and the social context of tattooing.
Figure 76. Chest tattoo of a commoner from
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