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The face tattoos of Myanmar’s old Chin women [21 pictures]

December 18, 2012 | By Abraham | 11 comments

Generations ago, tribes in the Chin province of Myanmar began to tattoo the faces of young women in order to mar them, so the king wouldn’t come and steal them away as wives. After years of this practice, it became its own tradition, separate from its original intent. Eventually, the full facial tattoos became signs of beauty rather than the opposite.

The practice has been banned for several decades now, but many of the older generation of Chin women still bear the markings…

(images via National PostThe Daily Mail, Oddity Central, Myanmar, The Atlantic, Luis Unterleicher, Thai Medical News, Better Photo, Wikimedia, OMG, World Tourism Organization)

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11 Comments

    1. Paul says:

      “Generations ago, tribes in the Chin province of Myanmar began to tattoo the faces of young women in order to mar them, so the king wouldn’t come and steal them away as wives.”

      So, no, it doesn’t make American tattoos seem more sensible since these started as a tradition with a very practical purpose.

    2. losey says:

      No. Unless one of those ladies has a symbol from a foreign language that is supposed to represent and element or emotion, no. Plus tribal doesn’t mean two broken lines trying to look like barbed wired to these ladies.

  1. Stu says:

    I like them. I would like to have seen them on younger faces too to see how they interact with facial bone structures. Some of them have aged very nicely though. Much more beautiful than a typical, Western tattoo of barbed wire or a ladybug or whatever.

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