The tattoos of the baiga women
Wrinkled by age, outdoor living, the sun and their life, Baiga women are among those few Peoples in whom traditional tattoos are still made. The Baiga tribe counts about 400,000 people scattered in four Indian states.
Tattooing has no other meaning, so one says, than the beauty of being. Today, if one asks, it doesn't symbolizes anything, it just embellishes. Ankles, shins, arms, faces: small touches, small ornaments in lines and points, now less covering than before. For once female bodies were fully tattooed, leaving only a few square inches of virgin skin. And even further back in time, men too were tattooed.
At their puberty, young girls get their first tattoos, on the forehead before anywhere else, essential to be able, one day, to get married. The following ones will come to pare them soon after: cheeks, arm, neck, shoulders. The rest will precede or soon follow the marriage. The extent of tattoos on a woman's body indicates the ease of her family of origin, because finding herself so adorned is expensive. After the marriage, it is still her family that will provide to those adornments of the married girl. Tattoos are said to protect the health of women, they are also a sexual stimulant and above all are the adornment that can not be removed, the one that women will carry in death.
- photographic work in process -