Chinese Tattoos


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Hi Athena,

Just wanted to say *Great Job*. I Really liked your suggestions.

Bob J. NY


I'm so glad I found this site before gettin my tatoo. Tattoo looks coooool! x

Suzie K. Toronto

Fantastic service Athena. Expect more requests from my buddies.

Jay. Sacramento

Miss Min,

Looks very nice with Character from you. I feel pride. Thanking you from Singapore

Tam S. Singapore


AWESOME symbols. Thanx for the cool suggestions.

Brad M. Wyoming

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Peter S . Iowa


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Jolie M . NZ


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Alan W . NY


Great site, great products. I love my tattoo thanks to you.

Helen G. Notts (UK)

Min Athena,

Even for Chinese tattoo character from your is better than from most native. Thank you for suggestion on me.

Jackie Wong - AUS



Tattoos in Chinese Tribes

Tattoos have been important in Chinese minority tribes for centuries. We explore why.

The Chinese Dai & Drung and minorities carry forward customs surrounding tattoos from their forefathers. Amongst Drung ethnic minorities, females tattoo their faces. Historically, female children were tattooed at the age of twelve or thirteen as a sign of sexual maturity.

The procedure was as follows. An elderly lady would immerse a bamboo stick into water into which was mixed ground charcoal from a fire and then mark the tattoo design on the girl's face.

Next came the painful bit as she used a thorn from a bush to etch the design into the skin as a series of dots. She'd then rub charcoal in to provide the pigment.

This would result in dark blue tattoo being etched on the face. It was usual to place the tattoo between the girls' eye brows and to make another tattoo around her mouth which looked like a diamond. It was also common to create tattoos on the cheeks in the form of a butterfly.

Drung tattoos began during a period of Chinese history known as the late Ming Dynasty. The Ming Dynasty was around three hundred and fifty years ago and is very famous (you may have heard of Min Dynasty vases which are priceless). Ancient China was very feudal and wars were common. During the Min Dynasty period the people from Drung tribes were often attacked by other groups. The women did not fight but were taken prisoners and just as slave labour

The form of tattooing just described is very popular towards the top end of the Drung River. At the other end of the river, people prefer tattoo designs which are much more straightforward. Usually, they consist of just 2 or 3 tattooed lines on the lower jaw.

To decrease the risk of being sexually attached, Drung ladies has the tattoos on their faces. The reason seems bizarre to us today but by having tattoos they aimed to make themselves look less sexually attractive and therefore safer.

Even though now the Drung peoples are no longer under attack from other tribes they still keep their tattooing customs which I think is fantastic. Drung ladies still use tattoos as a sign of sexual maturity.

Having tattoos is also an age-old tradition of the Dai people. You can still see these types of tattoos if you visit some villages. Males and females are tattooed in accordance with the Dai style. Men were tattooed on their strong muscles and women on the back of their hands , arms or in between their eyebrows (in a similar way to the Drung peoples). Thousands of years ago even Dai kids had tattoo designed pricked onto their bodies when they were five or six year old. People thought that was the best time to have the tattoo designs marked but they were not actually tattooed until they reach the age of fourteen or fifteen years old. This was really a sign of reaching manhood or womanhood and marked the end of childhood.

Unlike other chinese tribal tattoos, there were no rigid rules for tattoo design amongst the Dai people. They were free to choose a tattoo design which suited them. Chinese tiger, chinese dragon and chinese characters were popular tattoo design choices. The tattoos were black and white and drown with the sap from plants.

Dai peoples enjoy a rich history of tattoos. Centuries ago the Dai people used to live near to the river and were often attacked by "monsters" (these could have been giant crocodiles or other reptiles). Dai peoples believed that black and white tattoos kept these monsters at bay and they say having a tattoo one of the most sensible ways of avoiding death or injury by these creatures. Over millennium, tattoos lost their original purpose and changed into a symbol of masculinity in man and beauty in ladies.

Nowadays, the back of the hands are tattooed in the shape in octagonal floral designs. They still have a spot tattooed inbetween the eye brows of females, symbolising attractiveness. These tattoo designs mean that Dai people can easily recognise eachother even if they are not wearing traditional dress.

    Copyright - Chinese Tattoos 4u 2006