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An interesting fact about history from my region

So my grandma has tattoos, but not the usual ones (if I told her I want to get one she would freak out). She has one cross on each arm right above her hand, but they are barely visible. She did them with other girls from the village when she was a child (6-7 years old) with coal from the train and needles. Her older sister even has her name on one arm. I asked her how did they even think of doing that and she said most of the elderly women back then had them. Some even had intricate designs on their hands. And there was one with designs on her forehead too. That seemed weird to me because I've never seen any photo of tattooed women from here or learned about this "trend". She said it's probably from the Turks. I'm not sure as I don't know their traditions, I think they also used henna in Turkey like for weddings. But I've also read about some Balkan traditional tattoos that were usually for girls to show they are Christians back when the Ottomans would abduct them. It was both for protection to make them "undesirable" and to remind them of their real ancestry. I'm wondering if they also did that for the same reasons here, especially the crosses.
This is an interesting observation, H…thanks for sharing it coz I find similarities and the same reason(to make themselves less attractive and thereby, safe) quite intriguing.

I think you’ll find the same method and usage in Indian tribes too. Here’s an interesting insight into women of the past, from N-E-S-W and central parts of India.


I remember growing up with all the servants and farmer women especially having visible tiny symbols like crosses and flowers tattoos on their hands and forehead. (It’s also shown in the link above).

They also used henna/burnt stuff and needles.
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@Vivaci thank you for this! I had no idea. I only knew of henna as a means to beautify, not the other way around. Just another sign of how we are all the same deep down, no matter where we are.
Right? I also couldn’t believe your post…that’s why I said thanks for sharing… so much we have in common…💞

We could be sharing genes and ancestors…who knows? 🙀 @HannibalAteMeOut
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@Vivaci I definitely believe so, all these movements throughout history must have left their marks on the future generations
This is very interesting. Egyptian Christians get cross tattoos on their wrists as toddlers, everyone males and females which lasts with them all their lives it's how you recognize them when a name is too confusing to tell. I now wonder if it started as something for protection too.
basilfawlty89 · 31-35, M
@PiecingBabyFaceTogether @HannibalAteMeOut Copts are Oriental Orthodox, it's not exactly the same as Eastern Orthodox. They're miaphysites. They're in full communion with the Ethiopian, Tewahedo, Armenian and Malankara Christians.
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@basilfawlty89 I thought the Armenian church was under the Istanbul patriarch too
basilfawlty89 · 31-35, M
@HannibalAteMeOut no no, they're not communion with the Eastern Orthodox church. There was also a schism thanks to the Genocide, the USSR and the interethnic unrest in Lebanon. Western Armenian have their Catholicos in Lebanon. Eastern Armenians in Ejmiadzin/Vagharshapat.
FukFaceWillie · 51-55, M

“By the 1960s, sicanje lived on only in fading marks on grandmothers’ hands.”

Is the practice related to this?
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@FukFaceWillie [quote]Americans were very confused to learn there were Muslim Europeans, too. Wait, which side do we route for?[/quote] I'm wondering how many remember the bombing of Serbia in favour of Kosovo (Kosovo being majority Muslim and Serbia being Christian) by NATO
CountScrofula · 41-45, M
@HannibalAteMeOut I've been binging a lot of Roman history recently and what its taught me more than anything is that the distinction between the west and the east is meaningless.

The notion that Greece has more in common historically and culturally with Norway than it does with Turkey and Egypt is [i]absurd[/i].
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@CountScrofula for real it's so weird. Eurasia should have been seen as one continent to begin with.
Gangstress · 41-45, F
Interesting that.
My grandma had dot tattoos on her wrists.
She spoke gujrati and i could understand to an extent but some words were lost.
I know she did them herself but why i have no idea but thanks for reminding me. Will ask my parents if they know lol
Gangstress · 41-45, F
@HannibalAteMeOut i can speak swahili and gujrati. Im out of practice with both speaking but i can understand what others are saying. My mums gonna teach glits and me written and spoken once her op is done.
I live among a lot of white folk lol they only know English 😂
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@Gangstress ohh I didn't know you had an African side too! Are they difficult? I imagine they must be hahaha. Good on your mum though and good luck with her operation 🖤
Gangstress · 41-45, F
@HannibalAteMeOut aww thanks x. Both my parents are African 😅 dad wss born in Mombasa, Kenya and my mum in Iringa, Tanzania.
Its interesting when i hear stories from when they grew up
AntisocialTroll · 51-55, F
That was fascinating, thanks for telling us.
ElRengo · 61-69, M
I´ve seen that and other kind of tattoos at various Near East and some fewer East Europe cultures, mostly in older women.
ElRengo · 61-69, M
A whole domain of knowledge, the domestic, the implicit is or was kept / coded but also hidden in small signs / gestures, use of side / double meaning of words and dialect variations.
The consolidation / filtering on texts and legends (to become their cannonical versions) conspired to make them unseen. Also and same the long transition from oral to written cultures.
And that a lot of all that was keeped by common people and not by / about the "higher" ones that "made history".
I know told by friends that there is a relatively new domain and interest about the domestic culture in archeology and anthropology. That will perhaps help.
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@ElRengo it's always interesting to learn about the every day life of people in the past, politics and wars are a big part of history too of course, but the little habits is what's more touching to learn about.
ElRengo · 61-69, M
And perhaps even more significative for their deep culture than the Big Narratives.
Spumoni · 46-50, M
Coal tattoos! Interesting
ElRengo · 61-69, M
@Spumoni Yes.
And if what I was told is near to truth some of them were made with domestic generated coal.
The one kept by the external side of cooking pans / pots (done by women) and the one from campfires (done by men).
CountScrofula · 41-45, M
This is so unbelievably cool
basilfawlty89 · 31-35, M
From my knowledge of the Genocide of Anatolian Christians, kidnapped and raped women sold as slaves were tattooed by the Turks.

It's common among many Armenians I know who are descendants of survivors to say their grandmother or great grandmother had those tattoos.

You don't by chance have Anatolian Greek or Pontic Greek ancestry?
HannibalAteMeOut · 22-25, F
@basilfawlty89 interesting they did that to slaves, I don't know if this happened here too.
Not that I know of I don't.

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