A genuine tattoo tells a story i

There’s a certain emotional feeling that reflects the moment that you put it on, and it’s still there, and if tattoos do that, then they’ve served the wearer.  If they’re just there for total decoration then it’s like a paint job on a car, it doesn’t tell you much.  That tattoo tells me more about you and about your values than any of your other tattoos.  It’s a [A] genuine tattoo…..  It tells a story.  I like stories and tattoos, no matter how well done, and if they don’t tell a story that involves you emotionally, then they’re just there for decoration, then they’re not a valid tattoo.  There has to be some emotional appeal or they’re not, to my way of thinking, a real tattoo.  It tells people what you are and what you believe in, so there’s no mistakes.  ~Leo, tattooist, 1993, quoted in Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription, 2000

For westerners the tattoo has always been

For westerners, the tattoo has always been a metaphor of difference.  ~Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community, 2000

We are all tattooed in our cradles

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Poet at the Breakfast Table, 1872

Tattooing is about personalizing the body making

Tattooing is about personalizing the body, making it a true home and fit temple for the spirit that dwells inside it…. Tattooing therefore, is a way of keeping the spiritual and material needs of my body in balance.  ~Michelle DelioTattoo: The Exotic Art of Skin Decoration, p.8; TPV

Inking without a plan gives booth freedom

Inking without a plan gives Booth freedom to explore the desires of those seated in his chair, he says, to feed off their energy, allowing his clients’ demons to help guide the needle.  ~Joshua Lipton, about tattoo artist Paul Booth, "Bad Skin," Rolling Stone, 28 March 2002rollingstone.com/news/newsarticle.asp?nid/././.=15515

When the designs are chosen with care

When the designs are chosen with care, tattoos have a power and magic all their own.  They decorate the body but they also enhance the soul.  ~Michelle Delio, Tattoo: The Exotic Art of Skin Decoration, p.13

And this tattooing had been the work

And this tattooing had been the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island, who, by those hieroglyphic marks, had written out on his body a complete theory of the heavens and the earth, and a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but whose mysteries not even himself could read, though his own live heart beat against them; and these mysteries were therefore destined in the end to moulder away with the living parchment whereon they were inscribed, and so be unsolved to the last.  ~Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

You may lose your most valuable property

You may lose your most valuable property through misfortune in various ways.  You may lose your house, your wife and other treasures.  But of your moko, you cannot be deprived except by death.  It will be your ornament and companion until your last day.  ~Netana Whakaari of Waimana1921