Monday, November 15, 2010

Tattoo Quotes

A tattoo is an affirmation: that this body is yours to have and to enjoy while you're here. Nobody else can control what you do with it.
DON ED HARDY, Douglas Kent Hall's Prison Tattoos

“The universality of tattooing is a curious subject for speculation.”
– Captain James Cook,  British explorer of the South Pacific, 1779

“Nothing Without Labor”
– Tattooed on Irene Woodward (aka, La Belle Irene, one of the first female tattooed circus attractions, ca. 1880).

"As soon as it [the pain of her tongue being tattooed] appeared to have subsided a little, I remarked that I was sorry to see her following so useless a custom; and asked if it was not exceedingly painful?  She answered, He eha nui no, he nui roa ra kuu aroha!  Pain, great indeed; but greater my affection!"
– Reverend William Ellis, in 1827, relating his observance of a traditional tongue tattoo of mourning in Hawai'i.

"O le tatau, the art of tattooing, is still highly respected in Samoa.  All men, almost without exception, subject themselves to this painful operation as soon as they reach the age of manhood.  However, there have always been individual weaklings who avoided the pain, but such pala’ai (cowards) have never enjoyed the least respect."
– Carl Marquardt, 1899.

"With the Haidas, however, every mark has its meaning …"
- James Swan, Tattoo Marks of the Haida, 1878.

"But to become a freak one needs a strong character and unusual determination."
– George Burchett, Memoirs of a Tattooist.

"The men also are wont to gird their arms and legs with bands or fillets pricked in black, and it is done thus; they take five needles joined together, and with these they prick the flesh till the blood comes, and then they rub in a certain black colouring stuff, and this is perfectly indelible. It is considered a piece of elegance and the sign of gentility to have this black band."
– Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2.

"Many come hither from Upper India to have their bodies painted with the needle in the way we have elsewhere described, there being many adepts at this craft in the city [the city and great haven of Zayton]."
– Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2.

"But that which was most remarkable in the appearance of this splendid islander was the elaborate tattooing displayed on every noble limb."
– Herman Melville, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, 1846.

“We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841 - 1935)

Violet: That's a great tattoo.  Beautiful labrys. Are you surprised I know what it is?
Corky: Maybe.
Violet: I have a tattoo. Would you like to see it?
– Bound, 1996

"[His tattoos are] the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island, who, by those hieroglyphic marks, had written out on his body a complete theory of the heavens and the earth, and a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume."
– Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“Not one great country can be named, from the polar regions in the north to New Zealand in the south, in which the aborigines do not tattoo themselves.”
– Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871

" 'For, you see,' said the Illustrated Man, 'These Illustrations predict the future.' "
– Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man

“Reason #7 For Not Getting a Tattoo:  People will know you are running your own life, instead of listening to them!”
– Sailor Jerry Collins, tattoo artist

“Tattoos aren't meant for everybody and they're too goddamn good for some people.”
– Lyle Tuttle, tattoo artist, author, and lecturer.

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