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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TATTOOING IN BORNEO


TATTOOING IN BORNEO

Borneo, located in South East Asia is the third largest island in the world. The natives of Borneo consist of different tribes where each has its own language and culture. Though their languages and cultures are different, all tribes share something in common: the tradition and practice of tattooing.

For many centuries, the tradition and practice of tattooing has also been a way of life for the Iban - one of the largest tribe amongst the natives. Tattoos were very much entwined with every aspect of their culture. The practice of tattooing was a sacred activity that connected the people to the spiritual world. Tattooing was also linked to the men's success in headhunting and the coming of age amongst the womenfolk. Aside from symbolizing their social status, tattoos also enhanced the women's beauty. It is believed that the darker the color of the tattoo, the more beautiful the tattoo and the bearer is. Women were also tattooed as proof of their accomplishments in weaving, dancing or singing. Aside from these, the Ibans also bore tattoos for protective purposes as it is said to help ward off harm and disease.



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