Meet the Tribe That Tattoos Themselves to Avoid Being Rapped.
Some runaway others kill but for the people of Tharu tribe, they fall on Tattoos to runaway from this.
Photographer Omar Reda, 32, said the women of the Tharu tribe told him about the dark roots of their tattoo culture when he visited the town of Chitwan, where he captured these portraits.
Omar, 32, a Lebanese designer based in Riyadh, explains: ‘Tattooing plays a major role in certain communities. Some people use their body as an art canvas to reflect their status, ideology, and memorable stories.
‘For the Tharu tribe in Chitwan, a Nepalese town, I found that the women’s tattoos have three different stories.
‘The first one was extremely shocking. During the era of the Kingdom of Nepal, the royal family used to spend their summer in the Chitwan area. They used to take the beautiful girls of the tribe as s*x slaves.
‘To stop these abductions, the tattoo trend started and the girls got inked in order to deform themselves, so they look ugly for the royal men.
‘The second one was as shocking as the first one. Tattooing used to be mandatory for a girl during the teenage phase, or she will be estranged from her family and community.
‘She won’t be allowed to talk to or marry anyone in the tribe, and people won’t even be allowed to take anything she has touched, like food and other objects. She must get inked in order to be accepted by her people.
‘The third one was about beauty and the afterlife. Once a woman dies, she will rise in heaven in her most beautiful form.’ The tattoos are a way of ensuring that happens, Omar added.
In the tribe, the elders tattoo the women using a mixture of mustard oil and cow dug which is then stabbed through the skin using a thorn from the Neem tree
Tharu people are also known to tattoo themselves as a form of medicine, believing that if a certain body part is experiencing constant pain or fails to heal, tattooing over it will allow the ‘bad blood’ to drain away and relieve the injury
While some Tharu tattoo designs represent animals or everyday objects, such as brooms or cooking pots, others (pictured above) are merely abstract patterns joined together for visual impact
Tattooing, known as leela in the native Tharu tongue, used to be very popular with both men and women but is now far less common among the young as they mix with non-tattooed tribes.
Tribal tattooing, along with cave and body painting, is thought to be one of the oldest forms of art. While it is commonly used to beautify the recipient, Omar Reda says Tharu women used to get tattoos to make them unattractive to passing royals
This is strange but was for a good course.
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