Chin tattooed women

Chin is the most western, along with the Rakhine, state of Myanmar. It is best known from many people there being Christian. The second most characteristic feature is the tattooed women who – to a great extend – belong to an extinct habit of this ethnic group. The Chin started to tattooe women in order to discourage invading tribes from kidnapping them.  The other story says that women with tattooes were perceived more beautiful.

How do they do that? First, they heat the bark of green pine trees. The smoke is captured in a mud pot and mixed with bean leafs. The liquid mixture is injected under the skin with the use of the cane plant thorn. I was told by the women I met it was bloody painful. Most of them were around 5-7 when they were toattooed and it was their parents who decided for them.

I traveled to a few places in the Chin state: Mindat, Falam, Haka, Tidim and a couple of villages nearby Mrauk Oo. I met no single women yonger than forty with a tattooed face though I read some do meet them. Knowing the Burmese sense of making business on attracting foreigners, this might be happen…

 

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