dominate his chest and crawl over...
Examining the remains of 2500 year old Pazyryk
mummies, that's what we're doing here in Northern Russia. Embalmed in a frozen burial mound, an Iron
Age chieftain still wears exotic tattoos. The powerfully built horseman
died when he was 50. Though his body is somewhat deteriorated, an
elaborate series of tattoos are clearly visible. Interlocking designs
represent rams, deer, and a variety of fantastic beasts. Monsters
dominate his chest and crawl over his right foot, while a fish reaches
from his right foot to his knee. Were these totems for his personal
protection or badges of his noble birth? Modern day Siberian tribesmen,
Lockhart discovers, still ink designs down their spine to relieve back
Prisoners secret language
Lockhart wants to get inside a Russian prison to see
and hear about a unique tradition of illegal tattoos. Today, prison
tattoos constitute a secret language, but in wartime gulags, tattoos
were a form of protest. The indelible likeness of Stalin screwing a
pig? On your chest? With ink made of burnt shoe leather and urine?
In the gulag, there aren't too many ways to stand up and be counted.
For more on Scythian, Eurasian art check
out this Russian site here!
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