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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 10, 2002 at 22:24:09:

Many times on the past on the forum, and more times when henna artists
are on the street, people with tattoos present hennaed people with a
confrontational attitude, insisting that permanent needle work body
art is somehow more "real" than henna.

If one sets aside permanence for a moment (70% of all needle and ink
tattoos are eventually regretted, and tattoo removal is the blue chip
growth industry of the medical profession) ....then perhaps the tattoo
vs henna confrontation is "Tattoos HURT and BLEED, therefore tattoos
have greater validity than body art which did NOT hurt and bleed".
Certainly, the larger, darker tattoos, on more painful places seem to
support greater bravado and bragging than smaller, less painful tats.
The discussion certainly extends to other bodmod practices where
again, pain and bloodshed is embraced.

To this end ... see "Sacred Pain, Hurting the Body for the Sake of the
Soul" by Ariel Glucklich, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-513254-8.
Complex book on ritual pain, religious pain, torture, guilt, ... and
our old friend .... why people considered it "cheating" to have
anaesthesia during childbirth! So .... why indeed do some women play
"one up" about difficult labor and men brag about tattoos and
piercings etc, etc? What does pain mean to people ... and what does
the lack of pain imply about how people conceptualize henna?

Helluva book! (Foucault me baby, harder, harder!

 


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