People get tattoos for a ton of different reasons, anything from cultural to pure fun. Usually tattoos hold some sort of meaning for the person, but that is not always the case. Some tattoos are done purely for tribal reasons, and they don’t have a choice in placement or design. The article below highlights how different cultures and tribes incorporate tattooing into rituals.
To varying degrees, the same is true even of cultures that practice less extreme versions of tattooing. As Smithsonian described Rainier’s work, “In New Guinea, a swirl of tattoos on a Tofi woman’s face indicates her family lineage. The dark scrawls on a Cambodian monk’s chest reflect his religious beliefs. A Los Angeles gang member’s sprawling tattoos describe his street affiliation, and may even reveal if he’s committed murder.”