yesterday i went to the local bookstore and came across this amazing book called, "the world of tattoo", by Maarten Hesselt van Dinter. Stylus Publishing describes it this way:
Unlike most other tattoo books that describe one aspect this book conveys the overall picture. It takes you to each of the seven continents with descriptions of their tattoo history and tattoo practices. Thus the book provides the reader with a truly global view of tattooing. It adds new information and new examples and insights that give the reader a new perspective.
By combining empirical history, powerful cultural analysis, and a highly readable style, the author adds an important step to the ongoing effort of writing a meaningful cultural history of tattooing. He does not draw new conclusions or present shocking new theories, but suggests and invites the reader to form his own opinions. This publication presents the reader with a vast amount of textual and visual information. From the well known examples from Tahiti to rarely seen Chinese tattoos, from the Ice Maiden to modern day Western tattoos--they are all there. Many of the approximately 400 color illustrations are unique images that have never been published before.
Maarten Hesselt van Dinter is a cultural anthropologist and one of the leading Dutch experts on tattoos. His research for this book took over 10 years.
I really like this book because it reads more like an elaborate history book with facts and fascinating photos about these particularly marginalized cultures. With never before seen and shared pictures of like white women from the turn of the century with native american slave tattoos on their face. sweet. i already feel like i'm breaking the law knowing that photo even exists. i've only begun this book and already I know they even cover the lesser known, Formosan, or Taiwanese, aboriginal headhunter tattoo culture. cause really, if people knew that, they wouldn't always assume that all asians are fucking greasy math nerds or jumpkicking jackie chans. it's more like jumpkicking jackie chans if his feet were made of tribal machetes, but happened to carry an abacus in his sock.
To me, that not only makes me even more proud to be from a land of lightly cladded, head hunting tribesmen,it also makes me continually annoyed at just how bullshitty it is that governments always hide the real history of it's people for the sake of upholding some sort of vision of westernized utopia.
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA ATE YOUR BABY, AND YOUR BABY'S BABY
My dad even pointed out the other day while watching a new Discovery Channel documentary on how the history of the Great Wall of China, has not surprisingly been altered by the Communist government (again?). The traditional, underlying meaning of the original story passed down for hundreds of years, has suddenly or conviniently been robbed of any of it's potentially historical significance and cultural integrity. According to my dad who claims himself as a world history buff, especially in the affairs of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese history, said the story basically starts out with a woman looking for her husband after he disappears to go work as a laborer on the great wall of china. to make a long story short, she eventually finds him, that is after she breaks down crying for not being able to find him. a part of the wall collapses and as she peaks over, there he is, not alive, but his remains. some of his bones and his clothes which she recognizes, are now part of the wall's fortifying mixture. this, for the most part, has been the history of the great wall. though a bit grim for some, it has still served an entire people a viable and symbolic story as to the sombering nature of what this wall represents.
fastforward to my dad screaming at the t.v. and he does so only because he is a sort of pro-taiwanese, pro-tibet, pro-democracy, political watchdog that is constantly screaming at the television because all anybody watches in taiwan is the political news channel, and depending on their cable selection, in this case it's my dad, the discovery channel.
anyway, now that story has changed to the woman goes looking for her husband, cries, finds his body, but it's still intact or something laying a few feet away from the actual wall. cause really, that's like saying Sitting Bull is a character on Seinfeld. It's a total fucking lie or major cop out on the millions of dead enslaved or cheap labored chinese souls that most likely went into making that insane wall mixture. where as the great pyramids in egypt only took one or two pharoahs to see through, the great wall of china's construction lasted almost 2,000 years.
looking at the two versions, one can probably come to their own conclusions as to why this version has apparently now been adopted as the more acceptable, communist approved, version for generations to come. it's funny how all of a sudden thousands of years of history can become one government's permanent photoshop project. and all most people can do is scream at a television, blog about it in cyberspace, or feed more made in china, poisonous infant powder formula to their babies.
DEATH SCHOLARS IS NOW YOUR NEW FAVORITE BAND
"the social history of dying", by Allan Kellehear is another book that i've come across that is leaving my mind zigzagging.
'This is no ordinary book. The next generation of death scholars will have to come to terms with it. And it is superb in showing how sociology can illuminate the findings of archaeology and history.' Times Higher Education Supplement