African American Tattoos
African American Tattoos
What’s the difference?
African American tattoos are the same as African tattoos, mostly in name only. In reality, many people of the African nation received tattoos quite unlike those that we get today. Yes, that’s right. Very few of the early African tattoos
were applied using ink and a needle.
Most tattoos were applied using scarification. Scarification tattooing is the actual cutting of the skin to produce an actual scar rather than simply using ink to penetrate the skin. However, at times, ink, soot, and other foreign material has been rubbed into the open wound to add color to the scar.
But, as you can see, the original African tattoo is a far cry from what is known today as an African American tattoo.
Whether you are a member of the African American community or not, you may have taken an interest in African American tattoos at some point and not even have known it.
The African American community has many symbols and artistic styles inherent to the culture that are rather interesting and have become popular choices for many people when it comes to body art.
One interesting fact about African American tattoos is that the very first evidence of tattooing was actually found on a mummy in Africa, a priestess named Amunet-Kanika. This was an early exception to the scarification method.This evidence dates back more than 5,000 years and is evidence that those on the African continent have been tattooing much longer than most historians expected.
Needless to say, older African tattoos were not performed the same way as they are now, although at times, some of today’s African American tattoos are applied using the scarification method.
Back then, one of the main methods of ‘tattooing’ was to cut the skin open and rub ash in the wound. The result was usually a raised wound with some coloring to it, but was known to have a high risk of infection. On occasion, the wound would be re-opened after the initial cutting and a pebble, rock, or other small object would be inserted under the skin and forced to heal into it, creating an even more obvious raised effect.
These ancient styles of African tattoos were not for cosmetic purposes as African American tattoos are today. In fact, they were meant to give some type of supernatural powers or element to the wearer and held a lot of religious and spiritual significance.
These days, tattoos are about commitment or self expression or even just a way to pass the time or start a conversation. That was not their original intent, and the African culture took the ritual very seriously and performed them ceremoniously.
An African American Tattoo Myth Busted Wide Open
One of the biggest myths about African American tattoos is that they don’t consist of any color. This is due to the fact that the darker skin makes it harder for certain colors to show up, but to say that African American tattoos all lack color is an extremely broad and untrue statement. Every skin tone has a set of colors that are advised and ill-advised but only your tattoo artist can determine that for you.
It is not an issue of race or culture but skin tone, and what colors will look best and show up best on certain skin tones. If you are a person of color looking into a tattoo but aren’t sure what colors will work best, talk to your artist about your concerns. They are professionals and chances are that they have heard that myth long before you ever addressed your concerns with them.
How Can You Identify African American Tattoos?
There is no surefire way to identify these tattoos just like there is no surefire way to identify tattoos from any other culture. There are some symbols that have been used by notable African-American political groups and personalities.
Some of these symbols are better known than others, like the Black Power fist. There are other symbols that are closely associated with the African American community that could also fall into that category, ideas that many people would use as inspiration for body art.
Other African American tattoos resemble more traditional African tattoos, appearing in the form of tribal tattoo designs and ancient (or ancient-looking) symbols.
You don’t have to be African American to enjoy African symbols or other African American tattoos. Knowing the history behind the different tattoo styles is always helpful, and can certainly help make or break your decision regarding the tattoo style of your choice.
How To Remove Tattoos
Many thousands of people get tattoos every year and a whole lot of them choose to have them removed. Having a little perspective is always important, and as you can see the history of tattoos is quite extensive.
Also, it is very important for people of color to know and remember that although there are several Do-It-Yourself methods of tattoo removal that are available to them, they should thoroughly investigate and study each method. The reason we say this is because there are a few tattoo removal methods that are not recommended for use by people of color due to hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation. Hypo-pigmentaion causes a diminishing of pigment or lightening of skin color while hyper-pigmentation can cause an unusual darkening of the skin’s color.
TCA is a recommended removal method for people of color however, the TCA solution should be diluted to the manufacturer’s recommended strength before application.
This is another example of the purpose of this website, and that purpose is to inform and educate those seeking answers.
We always ask that our visitors not to make any rapid decisions. Investigate and study your tattoo removal options.
Please do not jump on the first method of tattoo removal that you come across. There are other tattoo removal methods available, and with the right research and attention to your individual preferences, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the right method, whether it be Salabrasion, Laser Removal, TCA, Glycolic Acid, Chemical Extraction or any of the other various methods that we cover for you.
Click here to find all the necessary information to help you make that important decision that is “right for you”.