Getting a chin tattoo is a historical concept that seems to have a recent revival. Today it has a fashion value, but hundreds and thousands of years before, the tattoo indicated something more meaningful than fashion.
The tattoo was more related to women than men. When a female got a tattoo on her chin, it was a sign that she stepped into womanhood, coming of age. For men, it informed them which woman reached puberty. Besides, it acted as a protection for them in enemy raids.
Unlike many trendy tattoo designs, the chin tattoo has a vast and diverse history. Read the whole article to learn more about its fascinating background.
Chin Tattoo History
Almost everyone used to have tattoos in Alaska and other Arctic regions. The Eskimo people particularly mastered tattoo art with a higher participation of women than men.
Tattoos had a special place in the minds of the Alaskans. To them, tattoos were a way of establishing spiritual connections. Also, if our bodies were like vessels that harbored our souls, the souls would be imprisoned within our bones. So, since the souls are held captive by our joints, tattoos with their lines and dots could be drawn on them, namely the elbows, ankles, knees, shoulders, and knees.
Back then, women and men made tattoos, but women were more active. That is because tattooing required expertise in needle threading, and the elderly ladies aced at it due to their skillfulness at sewing and stitching. Thus, they were better suited for tattooing.
However, the Inuit people lacked the proper ink and equipment for tattooing. All they had was a skin-sewing large-sized needle to dip in a concoction of urine, seal oil, and some black gunk scoured off an old and used bowl. Then they would sew the needle into the area to be tattooed, resembling the stick-and-poke tattooing style.
Chin Tattoo Meaning
The Inuit community treated the chin tattoo differently from other tattoos with spiritual significance. It was chiefly the women who got chin tattoos, a plain design with a pattern of several lines and without details.
But the simplicity did not gum up the strength of the tattoo. The key line, aka the chin stripe, aka tamlughun, featured multiple stripes running down the chin. For girls, the chin stripe indicated their maturity, telling men that they were eligible for marriage. On the other hand, men also got the same tattoo to protect themselves when an enemy raid took place.
Although it has been out of practice for ages, you will still find the Inuit people carrying on with their rituals. Now the elements have changed for them, as tattooing art has prevailed across all parts of the world. They use modern supplies and devices for their tattoos these days. Regardless of that, the concept of the tattoo chain remains unchanged.
Chin Tattoo Symbolism
A chin tattoo stands as a symbol of how tribal people used to have a ritual of getting chin and face tattoos. To this day, it inspires people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures to acknowledge their individualism by having chin tattoos with unique ideas and designs.
The following section of the article targets some of the most widely seen chin tattoo styles that have made quite a comeback among tattoo enthusiasts.
Popular Chin Tattoo Designs
The chin tattoo designs that have made it all the way to the present era of tattooing are under-chin and tribal designs. Their uniqueness and variation make them relevant and worth having even now.
The distinctive characteristic of the under-chin tattoo is that it will not be right on the chin but underneath it. It is not as visible as a chin tattoo, and if you need to conceal it for any reason, you easily do so.
It is even easier for men. They can hide it with facial hair like a beard. Some jobs specifically require people not to have tattoos. If you get your tattoo before getting the job, you will not have to remove your under-chin tattoo.
However, getting a tattoo on your under chin will be more painful than somewhere else due to the soft area between your jawline and neck.
If you can tolerate the pain level, an under-chin tattoo will be a great pick. You can incorporate it with other designs while covering your neck. Moreover, it will give you the freedom to choose whatever layout you want. Any style is feasible if it fits the area and is not disproportionately lengthy.
The most famous under-chin design includes a black lotus or a thorned rose. They are excellent examples of what will appear pretty under your chin. If you want it gorgeous, you can add colors to it. It will automatically set in with other tattoos around the spot.
People also go differently with words. ‘Chin up’ is a commonly used wording some have tattooed under their chins. The phrase reminds them to stay positive during tough times, symbolizing the strength of conquering barriers and achieving success without giving up.
Other than that, you can also have a butterfly drawn there. It will express youthfulness, liveliness, and positivity as a side of your personality.
Tribal Chin Tattoos
Tribal chin tattoos are more familiar than under-chin tattoos because of their originality and involvement with the Eskimos. The local tribes in the Alaskan and Atlantic regions would have a variety of tribal tattoos on their face, chins, jawline, and other body parts.
However, the concept of tattooing a female child to mark their womanhood or readiness to bear children has become outdated over time. But the idea of a chin tattoo protecting one from bad spirits is still alive and in practice.
The chin stripe is timeless, chosen by many indigenous people at present. You may even find some tattooists in the tribes who keep making the tattoos the way they used to in the long gone past.
What separates them from the ancient chin tattoos is the components of the tattoo ink. Now, the tattooist will have more expertise, and the health standards will be more hygienic. And while you can always use black for the tribal line tattoo designs, red is always the more used color.
You do not necessarily have to be connected to the Alaskan or Atlantic tribes in order to get a chin tattoo. If you think their history with chin tattoos inspires you to get one for yourself, who is to say no to that?
It is the message that the tattoo gives you to recognize one’s own diversity. Do not keep yourself from having one when it resonates with you. Instead, chin up and get it!
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