I was reminded recently about something I always found a little odd. The American Culture is always at odds with itself when it comes to our culture. We often think that we are cultureless, and that we are just an amalgam of other cultures from which we incorporated our thoughts and ideals. I tend to disagree. I think that our culture is defined by the fact that we have such a heterogeneous society. We draw upon so many different backgrounds that it has taken on a life of its own. At the core of our ideals is the notion that, while we all have a common basis in our nationalism for the United States, we consider ourselves free individuals. In many societies the group is more important than the individual, but not in the U.S. We are a collective of individualists. We believe that the individual is more important than the group. The debate whether this is good or bad is outside the scope of a tattoo and piercing article. Personally, I like our individualism. But I digress. What is my point about tattoo and piercing? Because Americans are individualists we are constantly trying to find new ways to make ourselves different from the people around us. Thus tattoo and piercing has become a popular way to adorn ourselves with fine art or jewelry in a variety of styles in order to make us feel more like ourselves. Of course, getting a tattoo or piercing often signifies being a part of a group, but that relates to small groups not an entire culture. Suffice to say we want to be different in order to fit in. Again, something at odds within our culture. The question we often get asked at Tribal Rites is what is the meaning or significance behind a specific tattoo or piercing. We as a culture want to assign some meaning to everything, but in the American culture I think it is important to remember that while meanings can be assigned from a historical perspective, sometimes art is just done for no reason at all. Art for art’s sake. My point is that our culture, while wanting to divine meaning for our body adornment, does not need to. As individuals we can have our piercers and tattoo artists come up with unique pieces of art that do not have any meaning at all. We just like the way it looks, and it makes us feel better about ourselves as individuals. If you want to assign meaning to your art please feel free to do so, but remember that we don’t have to have meaning in everything we do. Sometimes it’s just art for ourselves.
-- Mike Shuger, President Tribal Rites
It’s important to make sure that you are getting your body art from competent professionals who are going to treat you right and give the best art and experience that youcan find. Tribal Rites has the artists and staff that can design for you that custom piece of artwork that you have always wanted. Allow Tribal Rites to give you that piercing project or tattoo that shows off your individuality.
Tribal Rites: Professional, Clean, Knowledgeable, and Artistic. Don’t limit your individuality. Come to Tribal Rites.