The Inked Life-Modern Dayak Tattooists
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Tattoos and tattooing have a long history in Borneo. Much has been written about the uniqueness of Bornean tattoos and this is rightly so, for it is an important part of indigenous Dayak culture in Borneo. However, while the focus has mainly been on the traditional designs and preservation aspects of tattooing, not much is written about modern Dayak tattoo artists and their world. In this preliminary research paper we will look at the lives and experiences of contemporary Dayak tattooists, to explore what tattooing means to them-what motivations do they have in pursuing the art and how do they see themselves and the impact of the art that they created on their clients and ultimately themselves. Oral interviews were conducted to record and document the professional life and experiences of the tattoo artists. The preliminary data that was obtained indicated that far from dying ,the art is still alive and there is a niche area of female tattooists, both Dayak and non-Dayak which should be explored.
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