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Issue 8 | Spring 2014 © 2012-2014 Origins Scientific Research Society, founded by Melanie E Magdalena

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Permission of the authors is required for derivative works, compilations, and translations. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or views of Origins. The publisher, editor, contributors, and related parties assumes no responsibilityof loss, injury or inconvenience of any person, organization, or party that uses the information or resources provided within this publication, website, or related products.


IN THIS ISSUE: Inked

The 5,000 Year Old Tattooing Tradition Among Us MELANIE E MAGDALENA

27 28 32 34 40

Tech Tattoos

10

Thoughts on the future of body modification. Alex vosburgh

Makeup That Lasts, Just Add Ink!

Why buy makeup and have to apply it daily when a more permanent option is available. MORGAN V COURAGE

Whose Hat Is That?

Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.

Fleshed

Body modifications society either loves or cringes at. Margaret smith

Mehndi

BRUNO CAIMI | CC BY-SA 2.0

A look at the popularity of body art in belly dancing. MORGAN V COURAGE

DEPARTMENTS 4 From the Editor 7 Creature Feature 51 Review It


4 | ORIGINS

From the editor... Happy Spring Equinox! It seems like yesterday when Origins began. It’s been almost two years since the beginning and Origins only gets better. This issue is packed with body modifications: It’s All On You! From tattoos to scarification, piercings to hats, from makeup to dancing, it’s time to explore the past and present of our bodies. Make sure you check out the quiz at the center of this issue. Whose Hat Is That? will test your mind. How well were you paying attention in all those past history classes? Grossology, the (impolite) science of the human body is an exhibit not to be taken lightly. The traveling exhibit is currently in New Mexico teaching people of all ages what the body is like from the inside out. We’d like to send out a special thanks to everyone who made this issue possible. Ethan Kellogg, this issue’s cover is mindblowing! Digital-dinG, thank you for sharing beautiful photos of our belly dancer friends! Belly dancers, keep on dancing! Tony Zuvela, thank you for sharing your comic humor with our readers. As to not spoil the entire issue before you turn the page, here is one last piece of news from the editorial office. If you would like to support Origins Scientific Research Society so we can continue giving you quality content throughout the year, please consider becoming a subscriber. You can find the link in the table of contents (go back a page). We always appreciate feedback and letters to the editor! Send your words to us and we will gladly read them. Lastly, don’t forget to join us on April 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm CDT for our first Google Hangout On Air as we discuss this issue with all those interested. Melanie E Magdalena Editor-in-Chief, Origins Scientific Research Society editor@knowyourorigins.org

www.knowyourorigins.org

STAFF MELANIE E MAGDALENA Editor-in-Chief & Creative Designer The Founder of Origins Scientific Research Society. MARGARET SMITH Copy Editor Anthropology undergraduate focusing on Japanese studies for her career in archaeology. ETHAN KELLOGG Graphics Lackadaisy layabout who enjoys reading comic books and random articles on Wikipedia. Also fond of polyhedral dice. ALEX VOSBURGH Marketing & Public Relations Technically tech-savvy technophile trying to teach the truth to those that treat themselves to trivia. FIDEL JUNCO Director of Donor Relations Specialist in marine animals and other exotic reptiles, birds, and amphibians.

CONTRIBUTORS MORGAN V COURAGE Word architect and mathmatician. TONY ZUVELA Cartoonist and painter.

SPECIAL THANKS Digital-dinG Productions, Aurora, Bridget Westerman, Julie “Jules” Pena, Phaidra Harper, Shelagh Chandler, Siobhan Yost, Z Helen Christopher


CREATURE FEATURE | 7 DANIEL BAKER | CC BY-SA 2.0

Creature Feature Platypus

Fidel Junco Nature's Elaborate Hoax?

The semiaquatic, endemic, egg-laying mammal of Australia is the platypus. Ornithorhynchus anatinus has a bill resembling that of a duck, a beaver-like tail, and feet you expect on an otter. Platypus males are also venomous with a spur hidden behind the hind foot. These unique features set the platypus apart from all other animals, confusing scientists in the beginning and making them think this creature was a rather elaborate hoax. Today, the almost duck-beaver-otter swimmer is an iconic symbol of Australia.

A p p e a r a n c e & A t t r i b u t e s A platypus is covered with dense waterproof fur that keeps the animal warm by insulting air. Its broad, flat tail also stores fat like the Tasmanian devil. The feet are webbed and the frontal webbing folds back for land walking. Platypuses have large, rubbery snouts which act as a sensory organ and their mouth lies underneath. Their eyes and ears are in a groove that closes during swimming just behind the snout; where the nostrils are also located. The platypus has an average length of 30-60 cm and weighs about 1-2 kg. Platypuses use their bills to scoop insects, larvae, shellfish, and worms from the bottom of the body of water they live in. They keep their food stored in cheek pouches until they reach the surface to mash it up. They scoop up bits of gravel too since

they have no teeth to chew with and it helps with mashing.

T h e H u n t Other than dolphins, monotremes are the only mammals that use electroreception to find their prey; basically, electric fields are detected from muscle contractions of the prey. The platypus closes its eyes, ears, and nose during each dive, making its electroreception the most sensitive of monotremes. W i t h i n t h e G e n o m e The Australian National University discovered that the platypus has ten sex chromosomes in 2004. Most other mammals have two (XY). The platypus genome also has mammalian and reptilian genes associated with egg fertilization. It definitely stands apart from its mammal relatives under a microscope. Origins Scientific Research Society


F u r t h e r i n g t h e S p e c i e s Once a playtpus reaches the age of two they are ready to begin reproduction. The platypus mating season takes place from June to October. During this time frame is when male platypuses will utilize their venomous foot spurs. Although they will use them to fight off the occasional predator, the primary use of the spurs is to fight off other males while acquiring mates. After a successful reproductive act, the female will have two to three eggs begin developing in their uterus. After a month long gestation period the female will lay her eggs and keep them warm with her body for ten days before they hatch. Once the platypuses are born they are blind, hairless, and helpless. For three to four months after they are born they will feed on their mother’s milk which comes through her pores. E n a c t i n g P r o t e c t i o n Until the 20th century, the platypus was hunted for its fur. Starting at 1950, they remained at risk after Australia’s protection enacted in 1905 because they were drowning in sea nets. Dams, irrigation, netting, pollution, and trapping are disrupting the natural habitat. There is no immediate danger of extinction, but this spectacular creature is on the IUCN Red List under “least concern” and conservation efforts are successful at this time. u


MATT CHAN | CC BY-ND 2.0


Jhong Dizon | CC BY 2.0

Looking at tattoos today, names are among the most common: loved ones living and lost. Artistic scenes across the arms and legs record memorable life experiences and moments that defined the individual. Iconography from books and travels connect the tattooed to other worlds. Ink marks poor choices and decisions, hopes and dreams, life-changing moments, and the sense of life. The skin can tell a story if well examined. But should people openly show their life stories or be a spectacle to the world, often unavoidable to the open eye? Are tattoos any different than the style of clothing worn to a special event, job, or school? Imposing a code of dress limits where people can display their ink. Ink is permanent, a body modification meant to be cared for long after application. To have it and not show it off seems pointless, especially in a modern globalized society which continues to shun the art. This is the story of...


Inked Melanie E Magdalena


12 | ORIGINS

Body adornment with images and symbols is prominent in our time. The meanings of tattoos are personal and vary widely. In antiquity, spanning thousands of years across many cultures, the presence of body art is a unique demonstration of how people around the world chose to express themselves. Today, the presence of ink on the body is both praised and disdained. Permanent designs, whether elaborate or plain, serve as personal status symbols, declarations of love, forms of punishment, symbols of religious beliefs, amulets, and even just adornments. Should present societies judge ink negatively or accept and learn about the marked individual’s life using their skin just as researchers do for those of the past? T h e Pot As The Body Elaborate incised decorations on twenty ceramic figurines, discovered in northeastern Romania during 1981, from the ancient Cucuteni culture, which lasted from 4800 to 3000 BCE in what is now Romania and Ukraine, are one of the oldest possible representations of tattoos. According to archaeologist Douglass W. Bailey, of San Francisco State University, they could be tattoos, or possibly clothing, or maybe a representation of something else we may not understand. “What’s important is that they were using the surface of their bodies to communicate ideas, whether they related to membership in a group or individual identity.” He goes on to say in an article by Archaeology, “In the Neolithic, people were incising pots by taking a sharp point and cutting away the clay. If the pot was a metaphor for the body, that process of engraving could have also been seen as tattooing.” This may mark a moment in the Neolithic when people began considering partaking in permanent changes to their skin’s appearance. There is no evidence of tattooing prior to 7000 years ago. T h e Ear l ie st Acu pu nctu re Over 5,000 years ago, the Iceman now known as Ötzi froze clothed, with tools and weapons, in a glacier in the Tyrolean Alps. The items found on and with him served as a window into the life of the possible herder or chieftain in Europe during the Copper Age. Ötzi’s perfectly preserved body is covered with over 50 tattoos in the form of lines www.knowyourorigins.org

and crosses, likely early forms of medicine. The markings were made by rubbing charcoal into small incisions in the skin, all placed on parts of the body commonly treated with acupuncture: the Achilles tendon, ankles, knees, lower back, and wrists. One of the specialists who examined the body, Professor Don Brothwell of the University of York, pointed out that these areas correspond to areas of strain-induced degeneration. Repetition of the lines may indicate the Iceman undergoing pain-relieving treatment on multiple occasions. Likely therapeutic in nature (according to Dr. Andy Coghlan, the Iceman was battling arthritis), it is hard to call the lines and crosses on Ötzi’s body status markers since they were placed in areas difficult to display. Where are the Iceman’s tattoos? Check out the line drawing (see page 13). These Copper Age tattoos surprised archaeologists during early studies because acupuncture treatments for arthritis, joint distress, and rheumatism were thought to have originated over 2,000 years later in Asia. Today Ötzi is stored in a special -6º C chamber at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Italy where people can see him through a small window. Beside his remains is a model created by Dutch artists Alfons and Adrie Kennis using 3D images and forensic technology. But you don’t have to go to Italy to experience a virtual tour! Iceman Photo Scan by EURAC Research is an innovative project with complete photographic documentation of the body using twelve different angles, plus high resolution zoom navigation. There is also complete mapping of the tattoos in both white light and UV light. If you have a pair of 3D anaglyph (cyan and red) glasses at home, pull them out and experience the mummy in 3D. Continue exploring the Iceman! Check out the Iceman Photo Scan by EURAC Research :: http://iceman.eurac.edu/


INKED | 13

Ötzi’s Ink Tattoos on the Iceman are groups of lines and crosses on the calves, lower back, ankles, and wrist.

Front

Back

Ötzi Line Drawing by Ethan Kellogg based on iceman photo scan by eurac

Origins Scientific Research Society


Guillaume lecoquierre | CC BY 2.0


kobsev | PD, Wikicommons

Ukok mummy, discovered in 1993, from Russia tattooed and named Princess Ukok or the Princess of Altai. The “Siberian Ice Maiden� dates to the 5th century BCE.


INKED | 17

F e mininity and Be s In the Egyptian record, there are three female mummies from c. 2000 BCE and several other Greco-Roman burials with later dates from Akhmim with tattoos. The mummy of Amunet, a priestess of the goddess Hathor, was discovered in 1891. Small bronze tattooing tools from Gurob, Egypt, date to c. 1450 BCE. Egyptians also portrayed the leaders of neighboring Libya with geometric tattoos on their arms and legs in tomb, temple, and palace scenes. Tattoos appear on faience figurines much earlier than mummies. During the Middle Kingdom, faience figurines, which stand out with their blue color, are found in homes, temples and tombs. It is possible they functioned as offerings to the gods and accompanied individuals in death as grave goods. Though these examples of dotted and line patterns across the footless women figurines, called “Brides of the Dead,” may not be portraits, the designs may represent ideal femininity due to their association primarily with women. Egyptians worshipped the goddess Bes, a protector of women in labor, the children, and the home. Bes is seen dwarfed in images on the thighs and geometric patterns. This imagery is most common on musicians and dancers on faience bowls during the New Kingdom.

is related to femininity. The net-pattern across the abdomen would expand during pregnancy and mark where everything should be for healthy child birth. Furthermore, the gender restriction can be interpreted as tattoos had a specific meaning that only applied to women. Traditions Lo st During the 1870s, the Ainu, once renowned for their delicate and intricate tattoos on the face and arms, were banned from body modification by the Japanese government. The practice of tattooing began long before, possibly as far back as the Jōmon in 12,000 BCE. With the abundance of obsidian available on the islands, it would be no surprise to archaeologists that stone tools were used for tattooing incisions. No other tools have been found to associate with the tattooing practice, but there are many earthenware figures from the early sedentary society that have engravings on their faces and bodies. Phillippe Dallais, from the Museum of Ethnography in Neuchatel, Switzerland, says the markings represent tattoos due to their similarity around the mouth and eyebrows, and on the arms, to the Ainu. Dallais also believes that the Ainu may represent the final practitioners of the several thousand year old tradition. Deco r or I mp urity

The patterning seen on mummies and on objects distributed across the thighs, breasts, and abdomen hints at a therapeutic role for pregnancy and birth. Tattoos were created by pricking the skin repeatedly with dark or black pigment, such as soot. This technique is very similar to 19th century Egyptian practice. William Lane (1801-1876) describes the later practice: “the operation is performed with several needles (generally seven) tied together: with these the skin is pricked in a desired pattern: some smoke black (of wood or oil), mixed in with milk from the breast of a woman, is then rubbed in….It is generally performed at the age of about 5 or 6 years, and by gipsy-women.” Most women found at Deir el-Bahari were in royal and elite burials. Females of high status with tattoos and the association of Bes figurines on the thighs support the current idea that this practice

Beginning as early as the 9th century, written works in China record mentions of tattoos. The Youyang zazu contains twenty-five entries that describes the tattoo as punishment, a mark of slavery, militaristic, figurative, textual, and as facial adornment. Records in Youyang zazu for “ornament” and “decorate” do not explain if the practice was voluntary or truly for decoration. Punishment and decorative have different names but all are usually described, as Carrie E. Reed puts it, “Opprobrious. People bearing them are stigmatized as impure, deviant, and uncivilized. There does not ever seem to have been a widespread acceptance of tattoos of any type by the ‘mainstream’ society.” Body markings were seen as barbaric, a sign of ostracism, and defilement to the pure form given to an individual by his or her parents. Origins Scientific Research Society


The Chin, an ethnic minority in Burma, tattooed their young women’s faces to avoid other tribes’ men from capturing them to become slaves. Women today continue with the traditional spiderweb design.


Daniel Julie | CC BY 2.0


20 | ORIGINS

Tribes south of the Yangzi river bearing permanent markings were barbarian. The Yue people had the custom to cut off their hair and tattoo their bodies in red and green to ward off dragons. Their culture integrated tattooing as a survival mechanism, so to speak, and their Chinese neighbors deemed them barbaric even though they were equally intelligent. In the Hanshi waizhuan, an anecdote describes a Yue envoy’s visit to Jing. Since these people were barbarians, an official of Jing requested that the Yue wear a hat in order to have an audience with a civilized land. The Yue envoy countered this by asking how it would be if any Jing visiting the Yue had to slice off their nose, be branded, tattooed, and hair cut if the person wanted an audience. Immediately, the King of Jing came out and the audience was granted. R e s i stanc e Mov e me nt In the 1960s, tattooing remained an act of subcultures. By the 1990s, there was a visible increase in tattooing among adolescents. Heroic sustainment of pain is a psychological aspect; however, a study by Copes and Forsynth shows cortical arousal by stimulation may be a reason behind purposeful pain induced to acquire permanent ink. Tattoos in Oceania have long been respected as high art form. Initially, they represented an allegiance to a group, bonding, initiation, or a combination of these. Today, we often face tattooed women with stigma and prejudice. When did culture evolve from the Egyptian pinnacle of inked women to the current so-called “trend” which is compared to plastic surgery by Kathy Davis, dieting by Susan Bordo, and cosmetics by Naomi Wolfe? Women are stereotyped by association with the working class and criminality. Western tattooing, most common with sailors, was a male act. Were women trying to find gender equality through body art? This question has gone untouched by many. Tattooing can be interpreted as a resistance movement. Globalization has forced people to assimilate. A paper by V. “Valhalla” Vale and Andrea Juno states, “Over the last 500 years, Christian missionaries systematically destroyed virtually all of the world’s diverse cultures, making the www.knowyourorigins.org

world a much less interesting place.” Forcing one belief system over another does not make a tradition wrong, it is simply different. Societies unfortunately find “different” a threat. Modern Primitivism When does a worldwide tradition of humanity cross the line to primitivism? A paper by Daniel Rosenblatt describes “modern primitivism” as a culture movement where people take or reinvent a tradition of ancestors to explore the self through body modification. Self-exploration can be seen as a threat by society, since it shows a lack of assimilation against the established order. Primitive traditionally describes previous social orders which globalization does not support. This can be related back to colonialism and religions attempting to put in place an order of selfrespect, where the body is a temple and is pure at birth. Purity is lost when the body is altered from the Creator’s ideal; if the body was to be inked, it would have been inked at birth. To move past the primitive is to accept the present as progress rather than regression. The primitive lacks societal order and therefore cannot progress to a higher state of existence. “Modern primitivism,” coined by Fakir Musafar, then is a “non-tribal person who responds to primal urges and does something with the body.” Communication T hat La st s In the book of Leviticus, the King James Bible states, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” A more modern version from GOD’S WORD® Translation says, “Never slash your body to mourn the dead, and never get a tattoo. I am the LORD.” Both versions of Leviticus 19:28 support other passages where the Bible states all people are temples of the Lord and it should not be harmed. At the same time, Christians are free people. An ichthys could cause problems becoming associated with idolitry, based on the Ten Commandments. Does that make it wrong to tattoo the name of a deceased family member upon you when in the future your memory may fail and that person is


Kelvyn skee | CC BY 2.0


Frank Kovalchek | CC BY 2.0


Sharona Gott | CC BY 2.0


INKED | 25

lost from your mind? Clare Polack asks in “Is a tattoo the answer?” if her 83-year-old grandmother should get a tattoo. Polack’s grandmother wants a tattoo across her chest saying “do not ressuciatate.” At her age, she feels it is the only way to ensure her message is acknowledged if she were to collapse. For the medical staff to research the will of a person at such a critical moment, the tattoo may be the only way to get what her grandmother desires. When a necklace or bracelet engraving can fail to transmit a message, is ink the right course of action? Back To The Be ginning Tattoos are a response to modern life. Some people use their skin as a canvas to identify themselves, their sexuality, and their traditions. Prior to the 1960s, it was very common to walk into a tattoo parlor and select an image off the wall. Designs were not interconnected, it was not considered an art, and confined to the lower class and subcultures, such as sailors and bikers. Out of San Francisco, California, during the 1960s, artists changed. The middle class began tattooing out the hippy movement and the slow, but growing, awareness of Japanese full body tattoos. From Seattle, Washington, Vyvyn Lazonga was introduced to the Japanese style by sailor Jerry Collins. A photo of a woman in a unified dragon design captured her interest. Rather than a collection of unconnected imagery, the woman was a canvas of an intricate design, a masterpiece of art. Likewise, the tribal style of Oceania made its way into tattoo shops of the United States as artists began travelling to experience the traditional ways of tattoo. Lyle Tuttle visited Samoa where he was respected for his full body work. His knowledge of tattooing integrated him into society with the elders, he assumed a traditional role in the community transcending cultural and linguistic barriers. The Church and State may claim tattooing as “ungodly” or “ghetto,” yet the practice has persisted for millennia. Whether ink is a spiritual activity or a form of identity, the art of tattoo is not going anywhere. With time traditions change, but one thing is for sure: nothing new is happening. Tattoos are not limited to the “sinful” or the “powerful.” They exist among all groups, in all social classes, and in all cultures. The desire to showcase permanent body modifications is in the human being, it is a part of humanity. u

Sources Con sult ed Coghlan, A. (1994). “Alpine iceman was a martyr to arthritis.” New Scientist, 1956(10). Web. Retrieved from: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14419561.400-alpine-iceman-was-a-martyr-to-arthritis. html Copes, J. H. and Forsynth, C. J. (1993). “The Tattoo: A Social Psychological Explanation.” International Review of Modern Sociology 23(2). pp. 83-89. EURAC Research. “Iceman Photo Scan.” EURAC.edu. Web. http://iceman.eurac.edu Lineberry, C. (2007). “Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History.” Smithsonian.com. Web. Retrieved from: http:// www.smithsonianmag.com/history/tattoos-144038580/ Lobell, J. A. and Powell, E. A. (2013). “Ancient Tattoos.” Archaeology.org. Web. http:// www.archaeology.org/issues/109-features/1360 Mercer, N. S. G., and Davies, D. M. (1991). “Tattoos: Marked For Life.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 303(6799). pp. 380. Polack, C. (2001). “Is A Tattoo The Answer?” BMJ: British Medical Journal 323(7320). p. 1063. Reed, C. E. (2000). “Tattoo in Early China.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 120(3). pp. 360-376. Rosenblatt, D. (1997). “The Antisocial Skin: Structure, Resistance, and ‘Modern Primitive’ Adornment in the United States.” Cultural Anthropology 12(3). pp. 287-334. Vale, V. and Juno, A. (1989). Re/Search #12: Modern Primitives, An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and Ritual. San Francisco: Re/Search Publications. Origins Scientific Research Society


26 | ORIGINS

www.knowyourorigins.org


TECH TATTOOS | 27

Alex Vosburgh

Technology has helped our civilization advance in every area, and body art is no exception. From using needles to deliver ink under the skin, to the utilization of different pigments and colors, to rapid action tattoo machines, tattooing has aged well in many cultures. However, when the topic of tattoos comes up, one of the first things that comes to mind is their permanency. Whether it’s the main draw or the deal breaker, that facet tends to be non-negotiable. What if the next major leap in tattoo technology was able to bridge this gap? Many are looking at the future possibilities of tattoos, coming up with ideas such as electric tattoos that would communicate with our phones and other nifty gadgets or even a device just beneath the skin that would allow the user to change the design of a tattoo at will. Such a device would come with a huge degree of personalization and options. Grow tired of a particular design? Change it. Want to tweak what you currently have? Feel free. Got a job interview? Wipe it blank for the day. Some may stick their noses up at the fact that this doesn’t follow tattoos in the traditional sense, but there’s no arguing that this device would be highly convenient. Plus, it would open up body art to a larger audience of people who may otherwise not be interested. Electronic tattoos also have a lot of potential, in more practical ways than you might think. Imagine this: instead of having to put in an annoying passcode or swipe pattern every time you want to look at your phone, you instead have a tattoo

that is unique to you that your phone automatically recognizes and allows you to access it. Instead of having to remember increasingly complicated passwords, you could instead sync your accounts with the digital signature from your tattoo. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to added security, these tattoos could provide increased interactivity with your digital devices. Enhanced voice commands and even the potential to listen to music without the use of headphones are both likely possibilities. And the best part is: the tattoos could even be removable, utilizing flexible adhesives as opposed to permanent dyes. These adhesive ‘tattoos’ also have medical applications. Simply attach one, and instantly data about your health could be sent to your phone. With an appropriate app, you could see how different activities affect you and find out what to be wary of. Parents could even use the app to check up on their children in real time. Users could also potentially sign up to send their bio-data to a research center for future studies. This type of mass data collection would do wonders for the scientific community, providing tons of data in an extremely efficient manner. The implications of such a feat are great to speculate about, not to mention other possible applications. Who knows what may be next for the world of tattoos and body art in general? An implant that gives the user control of the very color of their skin on a daily basis? A solution that causes the skin to become transparent? Maybe the next big innovation will even come from you! u Origins Scientific Research Society


SHESARLI | CC BY-SA 2.0

Makeup That Lasts, Just Add Ink! Morgan V Courage


COSMETIC TATTOOS | 29

In 1767, Captain Cook described the Tahitian art of tatau in his diary. Tatau, the root of the English tattoo, is an ancient Polynesian art that showed signs of identity, personality, and a life story on the body. Polynesian culture did not use writing. Instead, starting at age 12, tattoos on the skin showed rites of passage, reflection of spirit, spiritual protection, a special event, journeys, and individual traits. For 10,000 years, if not more, tattoos are seen throughout the world. Carved, sharp needle-like implements made from bronze, wood, or stone transferred color under the skin after hundreds of pricks. Ötzi the Iceman, found preserved in ice, died high in the Italian Alps more than 5,000 years ago. Rubbed charcoal marked the fifty-some lines and crosses on his body. The Iboloi mummified their dead and laid them in hollow logs in Kabayan. Mummies covered in fierce tattoos with lizards, snakes, centipedes, scorpions and geometric shapes (such as circles and zigzag lines) are common. The Pazyryk, Iron Age mummies found in the Atlay mountains of Siberia, display some of the most spectacular tattoos in the ancient world. Archaeologist Sergey Yatsenko of the Russian State University for the Humanities describes most as a composite monster. The right shoulder has the form of a wild goat, an eagle’s beak, and a panther’s tail; a tiger or wild ram is on the left shoulder. Dr. Natalia Polosmask told the Siberian Times, “Tattoos were used as a mean of personal identification - like a passport now, if you like. Pazyryks also believed the tattoos would be helpful in another life, making it easy for the people of the same family and culture to find each other after death. It was a language of animal imagery, used to express some thoughts and to define one’s position both in society, and in the world. The more tattoos were on the body, the longer it meant the person lived, and the higher was his position.”

enemies vanquished in battle received tattoos. The Athenians tattooed the Samians with an owl, Athens’ emblem, and later when the Samians defeated the Athenians, prisoners received the Samian warship. In Rome, tattoos marked slaves as a receipt for paid taxes. Caligula marked his gladiators as public property and Christians were condemned to the mines. The Thracians, Scythians, Dacians, Gauls, Picts, Celts, and Britons used tattoos as a mark of pride. In ancient Egypt, the majority of tattooed mummies are women. The tattoos of most mummies were around the abdomen, on top of the thighs and breasts. A common upper thigh tattoo is of Bes, a household deity figure that protects women in childbirth. It is not known with absolute certainty that Cleopatra used permanent cosmetic tattoos in her beautification rituals. History reports her beauty to be more academic, intelligent, charming, and shrewd rather than physical. Body decoration changed for a variety of reasons over the centuries into a more refined form for women to express themselves with enhanced beauty. Tattooing as permanent makeup began

“For every beauty there is an eye

somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” –Ivan Pennin

The ancient Greeks used tattoos as a mark of punishment and shame. Criminals, slaves and

with George Bruchette, an English tattooist in 1880. Bruchette developed the art of injecting vegetable dye just under a woman’s skin to enhance her eyes and lip line in 1880. He states in his memoirs that many salons disguised permanent makeup as a complexion treatment. These salons omitted telling the clients that vegetable and fruit dyes were injected under the top layer of skin. In the 1980s, cosmetic tattooing, renamed micropigmentation, advanced further for alopecia, a condition that causes the loss of hair includOrigins Scientific Research Society


30 | ORIGINS

ing eyebrows. Today eyebrows, eyes, and lips are enhanced and accentuated to save time or help burn victims, cancer survivors, and those afflicted with Parkinson’s or arthritis. The benefits are saving money in the long run from buying quality cosmetics and time from applying it at least once a day every day. Stressless and relatively painless, you can wake up every morning with perfect makeup. No more worrying about smudges and running makeup with sports and weather. Self-confidence takes a boost. Eyeliner, eyebrows, or hairline appearance is changed permanently or semi-permanently. Cosmetics can be worn to enhance permanent makeup. The risk for enduring cosmetic tattoos occurs years later. The art fails to hold its shape as skin ages, ink fading from sunlight exposure or style and color is no longer desired. Areas that are likely to wrinkle, stretch, or be exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time are avoided to keep the art at its best. The cosmetic tattoo artist who applied the permanent makeup may not have the necessary skills and the result turned out poor because of “wrong color,” “too dark” or “too big.” Most mistakes can be adjusted with more ink. Allergies to the dyes and infection are a consideration. The body can reject ink and unnatural substances leaving keloid formations or granulomas. The most popular cosmetic procedure is the eyebrow, which subtly frames the face. Eyebrows can be dramatic thin lines, be soft and more natural or add youth with thickness. The eyebrows can be done with a “powdery fill” technique, hairlines tattooed, or a combination of both. The artists will draw on your eyebrows to best compliment your face, correcting with evenness and symmetry. Once the drawn eyebrows are decided, the artist numbs the skin with lidocaine, benzocaine or tetracaine. Artists use tattoo ink or pigmentations made specifically for cosmetic applications. An electronic machine or a pen with four needles is used to break the skin and deposit the color in the dermal layer. A method called “tapping” uses nothing but a needle to penetrate the dermis. Tapping is an art only well trained and experienced artists should use on a client. This procedure takes around two hours. Many artists are conservative during the first application to make sure the customer likes the change before altering their appearance entirely. A second visit will add more color or make any other changes the client wants. Most artists will require two visits since the procedure is permanent. The more sun kept off the ink, the longer the tattoo will preserve. Most clients describe the feeling similar to plucking all the brows or a headache as the worse effect from the tattoo. Medical tattooing has become a vital part of reconstructive surgery. Dermapigmentation is ink colored to match natural skin www.knowyourorigins.org

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tones. During a breast reconstruction, the areola is recreated with ink to look natural. Not all women have breast reconstructions, but tattooing can cover the scars from a mastectomy. Those with vitiligo, a lack of pigmentation in patches on the skin, may have the skin evened out with ink matched to the skin tone. Scar tissue can be colored with a natural skin tone ink or a decorative tattoo. Abdominoplasty scars can be large and obvious, even from the best surgeons. Cosmetic tattooing can help cover the scars from the incision. Tattoos may also be used as medical alerts, replacing the medical bracelets, and warn of serious allergies, blood type, and medical conditions. Regulations for artists, cosmetologists, electrologists, Doctors and nurses who apply permanent ink are varied by state. Machines and pigment bought from eBay and setting shop in your home is easy. For as many happy and satisfied customers, there are those who have suffered adverse reactions including H.I.V, Hepatitis, staph and strep from dirty needles, and allergic reactions to permanent dyes. Premier Pigments received over 150 complaints to the F.D.A. leading to a tainted dye in an investigation.

OGG

While the legal system and process decides how to regulate tattooing, doing due diligence in research should be necessary. Ask to see original shop photographs, ask the artist for references, use the internet to search Yelp and other clients comments, examine the facility for cleanliness, and interview at least three artists before making a final decision and spend the money to do a test site on a small area of your skin before having the procedure done.

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Johnny Depp said, “My Body is my journey and my tattoos are my story.� Throughout time and place tattooing has told stories on people. Cosmetic tattooing is no different. Those stories are of surviving disease, saving time and money, self-confidence, self-esteem and medical alerts. Only technology has transformed body ink over the centuries. u Origins Scientific Research Society


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Whose Hat 1

This featherwork headdress hails from the Aztec empire and is currently being held at the the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna. It became an object of interest by European scholars during the 19th century, and some debate it is not even a head dress. Whose hat is that? A) Pacal B) Moctezuma II

2

This 18th century hat is one of the less elaborate hats this lady would wear. Known for her elaborate hats, she was hated by the public who was starving while she enjoyed a life of luxury. One of her most famous sayings is “let them eat cake”. Whose hat is that?

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C) Coyolxauhqui D) Juan Carlos

A) Anne Boleyn B) Mary Tudor

C) Isabella of Castille D) Marie Antoinette

Famed for winning the 1898 Battle of Omdurman. He was once Commander-in-Chief of the British army in India, and in 1914 he became the Secretary of State for War. He was killed in 1916 when a German mine sunk his ship. Whose hat is that? A) Herbert Kitchener B) David Bristow Baker C) John Fawcett D) Henry Cole

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This historic man fought bravely at the Alamo in order to claim the territory for America. Considered a pioneer of the American frontier, he also helped explore and settle the area now known as Kentucky. He was a militia officer during the Revolutionary War and fought in the Battle of Blue Licks. Whose hat is that? A) Meriweather Lewis B) John O’ Sullivan C) Daniel Boone D) William Clark


WHOSE HAT IS THAT? | 33

Is That? 5

This man was the 21st King of Korea during the Joseon period. His reign lasted 51 years, despite the controversy over him executing his own son. He was also well known for his fight on taxation reform. Whose hat is that? A) King Yeongjo B) King Taejong C) Shim Ohn D) King Moon Jong

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This man was born in London, England during the 19th century. He became well known for his comedic acts and first stood on stage when he was twelve. He traveled to the US in 1910 as a featured player from the Fred Karno Repertoire Company. Whose hat is that? A) Max Linder B) George Carlin

C) Harold Lloyd D) Charlie Chaplin IMAGES: SPOT US, HORST FRANK, VALERIE EVERETT, NIKODEM NIJAKI, OXFORDIAN KISSUTH: CC BY-SA 2.0; PD-US.

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6

It’s Time For Some Trivia!

This man was the 16th president of the United States and was assassinated before his term ended. He has become known as the man who caused the end of slavery in the United States of America. Whose hat is that? A) John Adams B) George Washington C) Abraham Lincoln D) Benjamin Franklin

Did you get them all right?

Check your score at myorig.in/1gNMkkx

This style of headdress was common among soldiers of Japan during what time period? A) Meiji period B) Nara period

C) Heian period D) Tokugawa period Origins Scientific Research Society


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Across the world, people change their bodies into the form they find most beautiful. Piercings and scarification are ways in which body modification can be achieved, but these beautification traditions are met with extreme prejudice by many cultures. Body mutilation has various levels of what is considered extreme and what is accepted in mainstream society. Specifically, in Western culture, a woman with pierced ears is considered normal; nevertheless, scarred designs are viewed with stigma. What draws the line between the acceptable and intolerable? Throughout history, scarification and piercings are used to enhance beauty among both the elites and the lower class. In modern societies, these personalizations of the flesh are looked upon as a sub-culture and perverse. The T iv In Africa, Tiv tribal scarification and teeth chipping is very common. Both women and men take part in scarification and teeth chipping, but the placement in which women and men place the scars differs. Both scar their faces, but men are more likely to scar their chest and arms; in contrast, women place the scars on their stomachs, calves, and backs. Scar designs differ: scars do not show tribal association, rather they identify a person as being a part of a specific generation. From generation to generation, popular scarification types differ. Sometimes what is considered popular varies between design and the technique used for creating the scars. Even this varies because the same designs are used to appear older or younger. Typical scars have red ochre or charcoal rubbed into them to add color. Many popular designs compose the repertoire among the Tiv including the swallow, catfish, chameleon, and scorpion. Scorpion designs are considered masculine; however, few, if any, Tiv women may have the design on their body. A variety of geometric designs are also used throughout www.knowyourorigins.org


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Margaret Smith the Tiv tribe. Teeth chipping is less widespread today and is only occasionally practiced. Teeth chipping is done to make the teeth more appealing by carving a line on big, front teeth so they appear smaller. Other practices involve carving designs or sharpening teeth into points. Teeth chipping can be compared to straightening teeth with braces. The entire point is to make the teeth aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Beautification is the goal of scarification and teeth chipping. Scars carved into calves, arms, faces, stomachs, and chests bring out the best and most eye pleasing form. The Tiv try to make themselves glow with the allure of their scars. The pain is a given. Glow is achieved with pain and effort, otherwise glorified perception is not deserved. Think of it as the need to buy expensive clothes to be considered beautiful. Anato lia During the 1994 excavation season in Turkey, some artifacts were found that support piercings taking place. In level seven of the dig associated with Beycesultan Late Chalcolithic 1-2 pottery, a copper piercing tool was found. This little piece of copper represents the earliest metal implement found so far in Anatolia. Since this excavation, more evidence of piercings has been found; the copper tool was an important find and implicated the practice of body modification through piercings in Turkey. While excavating in 1994, archaeologists found more artifacts in a building thought to be a temple. Two of the artifacts are a terracotta female and a crucible found in Iron Age and Hellenistic levels. These figurines possessed large ears with multiple piercings giving iconographic indications of piercings taking place in Turkey as well. Origins Scientific Research Society


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The Maya In the Maya lowlands of the Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala, the elite Maya performed many practices in order to mold their bodies into their ideal form of beauty. From a young age, Maya children would have their still growing skulls wrapped in cloth tighter and tighter as the days went by. After years of wrapping their not yet fully formed skulls, eventually their heads would become very long, thin, and indented across the forehead. Surprisingly, 90% of all Maya skulls found have cranial modification. However, this statistic may not be representative for the entire Maya civilization, since excavations do not typically take place in lower class areas, but in palace structures and city centers. Although cranial modification seems to have been popular, the final shape of the skull did have some regional and ranked variation. Among the Maya elite, modification of the teeth was also very popular. Teeth would commonly be filed or drilled and inlaid with jade, hematite, pyrite, or turquoise. This process would have been very painful and would have caused complications in dental health. Despite the hazards, the

elite would inlay their teeth with precious stones in order to signal their wealth and prestige. T he A ztecs Within the Aztec empire, body modification was a tool used to mold children into adults. At the age of four, Aztec children took part in a ritual called Izcalli, where they were introduced to many ritual activities like dancing, drinking, singing, blood rites, and piercings. Other forms of body modification existed in the Aztec empire as well; like hair treatment and specialized clothing. A key part of the Izcalli ceremony is the piercing of each child’s ears. This signaled the introduction to Aztec society and tracked their maturation in society. As the children aged into adults, the Aztec would stretch the piercings with ear spools increasing the piercing’s width. The size of the ear spool a child had signaled their progression into society and prepared them for adult sized ear spools, which measure on average over 2 cm. Similarly, children underwent another ceremony called Telpochcalli to mark entering the next stage towards adulthood. One of the childhood body modifications received during the ceremony was ritual scarification on the hip and chest, symbolizing a devoted life to calmecac. Others would obtain a piercing through their lip, signifying their lives would be devoted telpochcalli, although it was not until they became adults that a lip labret was used. Later in life, boys would receive lib labrets in order to mark their achievement in warfare. The Aztec empire shows a definitive use of body modification as a way to indoctrinate children into society. Infants are taken from moldable material and transformed through a series of rites of passage until they reach the shape of an Aztec adult. Egypt and Rome In of of in

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Ancient Egypt, some of the earliest evidence piercings is found on mummified bodies. One the most popular types of body modification Egypt were stretched earlobes. Earrings were


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MICHAEL MCCARTY| CC BY 2.0

Aztec Earspools from the National Museum of Anthropology and History, Mexico City, Mexico.

M od e rn Day Soci e tie s

A woman piercing her ears is considered normal in most modern day societies; in some ways it can be considered a right of passage. Men are expected not to have any piercings. Scarification in America is not widely accepted, and few people, both male and female, possess any purposeful designed scars. Those who do have additional piercings or scars are often consider to be masochists, narcissists, sadists, or exhibitionists. Although this is rarely the case, negative connotations have continued to be attached to those who do possess piercings and scarification.

Piercings and scarification are practiced among modern day societies with many stigmas attached. Those who possess these types of body modification are viewed through different lenses depending on the situation, but more often than not they are considered abnormal and perverse in some manner. Even within the medical field, there are those with misconceptions and prejudice against those whom possess piercings.

There does seem to be some change in the attitude towards piercings and scars over the years. Nose, belly button, dermal, and additional ear piercings are becoming more common. With time, the views on those who have them lose their negative connotations. People who do have piercings which are not hidden by clothes can face even more obstacles than the opinions of their peers. Job hunting in particular can become difficult

commonly worn in order to display wealth and beauty. Naval piercings, on the other hand, were restricted only for pharaohs. Within Ancient Rome, piercings were used to display a different meaning. Nipple piercings were very common among men and were considered a badge of honor, especially in the military. Nipple piercings signified a person’s strength, virility, and unity among comrades.

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Example of scarification today: Euler’s identity, or Euler’s equality, is an expression considered to be absolute mathematical beauty. It uses three of the basic arithmetic operations and five mathematic constants. when reaching the interview stage. Many companies have policies against employees having tattoos and piercings that are visible to others. This can prevent people from gaining employment, unless they remove their piercings or cover up their tattoos. The negative views on piercings and intentionally designed scarification are muddled and confusing. There is a common misconception that people with body modifications are abnormal. It is possible this concept originated from others who do not have these additions and cannot explain why anyone would ever get that permanent change. Perhaps looking at it in a similar way www.knowyourorigins.org

as the Tiv do would shed some light on the subject. Viewing piercings as a beautification process in the same way as the Tiv view scarification and teeth chipping could perhaps be a way to reconcile these misconceptions. Piercings are painful, but covering one’s body with jewels and precious metals can be a sign of prestige and enhance beauty. Not only are people decidingly placing where they feel the jewelry will look best, but they are also showing their dedication to making themselves feel attractive. It’s just like someone who spends thousands of dollars on name brand clothes. u


TELA CHHE | CC BY 2.0

Morgan V Courage


ARIAN ZWEGERS| CC BY 2.0

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MEHNDI | 43

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to temporarily cover any part of your body with intricate and beautiful designs that last about a month? Then try mehndi, the traditional body art of India, Morocco, Egypt, the Middle East, and Pakistan. Mehndi is an ornate form of temporary body decoration made from henna, eucalyptus oil, lemon juice and black tea. Henna is a natural reddish colored dye made from the dried, crushed leaves of the Lawsonia inermis shrub. The terms henna and mehndi are used interchangeably; but henna is an Arabic derivative from al Khanna and mehndi is from the Sanskrit mehandika. The history of their use and meaning vary over the years and regions. About 6,000 years ago, traces of henna were found on the finger and toe nails of mummified Pharaohs. Perhaps the original nail varnish? There is no conclusive evidence that henna was used as body art in ancient Egypt; however, the henna plant has properties that cool body temperature–a form of body air conditioning in the dry heat of the desert. The art of henna dying was firmly established in Egypt, and perhaps was introduced to India and Pakistan, during the Mogul Empire. Since 700 AD, Indian women decorated their hands and feet before Hindu weddings and festivals. The styles of henna body art are based on tradition. In India, very elaborate and intricate designs are preferred in contrast to the Bedoiuns’ solid blocks of color. Arabia blends both geometric and floral designs showing more of the palms. Mehndi today is associated with the transformation and transcendence to heal, adorn, and bless mostly women. Wedding rituals begin with the bride holding a lump of henna paste in her palm. Her friends and relatives add gold coins to the paste. After the paste is full of coins, it is scraped off and the labor intensive work of the mehndi artist begins. Beautiful designs are crafted on the feet and hands of the bride, while her entourage sings to her and gives her advice and fellowship during the lengthy process. The henna is wrapped in linen overnight and removed about 48 hours later by scratching off. The hands and feet will hold the design for about 4 weeks, the arms, ankles and back about 3 weeks, and the chest and face will only last about a week. Around 1990, henna tattoos using the decorative designs from India became fashionable in the West. Egypt became the largest producer of ready-made henna cones bought today, though the basic recipe for the dye uses only three essential ingredients and can even be made at home. Origins Scientific Research Society


44 | ORIGINS

Make Your Own Henna The basic recipe for henna is: one teaspoon powdered and sifted henna powder, two teaspoons strong black tea, and 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. 1. Combine all ingredients in a glass mixing bowl. 2. Stir in one direction until the consistency is similar to toothpaste. Add extra powder or liquid, a little at a time, if necessary. 3. Cover the smooth paste with a towel and let it sit overnight in a warm place. Many families have special recipes that include espresso, rose petals, or saffron to improve the longevity and color of the henna. After the Mehndi cures overnight, it is ready to be applied in a pastry cone. Traditionally, it is applied during a mehndi party, also known as a hen party. The party may feature mid-eastern dancers for entertainment. Some performers bring shimmy belts and offer an hour dance lesson as part of the hen party. In reverse, some parties with belly dancers offer a henna tattoo to the guests.

Siobhan Yost Phaidra Harper

The most common aspect among all belly dancers is the love and passion of body adornment. Tattoos, mehndi, kohl, scarves, dangling coins, bindis, bracelets, anklets, big earrings, beads, sequins, feathers, flowers, and cholis can be used in a dancer’s stage persona. The ubiquitous belly dance ensemble is the embellished bra, belt, and skirt. The color, beading, coins, and other accents are the personality of the dancer and what inspires the dance. Not all belly dance is the same. It has many names: Middle Eastern Dance, Balady, Raks Sharki, Oriental Dance, and Danse du Ventre. Mid Eastern is an umbrella term for belly dance. Baladi in Arabic means rural, folk or of the country and applies to anything rustic or traditional. Baladi is a rhythm and a dance style. Westerners heard baladi and probably thought belly was being said, starting the coined term “belly dance” since the emphasis of movement is on the torso and belly. Raks Sharqi is the Egyptian dance and means “Dance of the Easterner”. Danse du ventre translates as dance of the belly area. The name was first used at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 when this dance was first presented. Oriental Dance is from the Turkish term Oryantal, a specific area in the Middle east.

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MEHNDI | 45

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Jules, Phaidra and Shelagh

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Some of the various styles are Egyptian, Turkish, Cabaret, Gypsy, Goddess, and Tribal, Urban Tribal or American Tribal. Varieties of these styles are as unique as the dancer. Egyptian style uses more shimmies with elaborately beaded costumes. Modern Egyptian in America started with Ibrahim “Bobby” Farrah of New York. It incorporates orchestra, drums, lively vocals, and is more nightclub in sound and performance rather than folk. Turkish style uses more cabaret costumes where the legs and cleavage are bare. The dancers often play finger cymbals (zills) and the music uses more oboe, clarinet, and hand drums. Cabaret in the U.S means an ethnic family restaurant and bar. Customers throw kerchiefs into the air as they folk dance. The Lebanese debke or the Greek Zorbekiko is danced between the floor shows of belly dancers, who perform a multi-faceted routine to live music. Costumes are flashy sequins and sparkling beads. Gypsy is a style created by Romany people migrating from north India’s province of Rajistan in 1000 AD. Generation after generation, the Rom traveled all over the world with their crafts, music and dance trades. The gypsy style is a blend of these worldwide dances. Costumes have large, full, colorful skirts, fringe hip scarves, and flowing sleeves with Moorish art accents. The goddess style traces the belly dance back to the ancient times of goddess temples and matriarchal cultures. The characters from ancient mythology and religion are theme material for choreographies. A prime example of this type is Z Helen’s “Gaia,” Tribal is a style developed by Jamila Salimpour and her dance troupe, Bal-Anat. Jamila is often referred to as the mother of American bellydance. This type of the dance includes moves from Middle Eastern, North African, the Renaissance, and the Victorian Era. American Tribal Style is a recognized distinct style of belly dance throughout the world. Performances may include the balancing of swords and other props, snake dances, and folk line-dances. Costuming is generally black and silver with facial drawings to simulate tribal tattoos or is colorful with choli tops, turbans, camel tassels and jewelry from Afghanistan. The musical instruments include a variety of hand drums and other exotic instruments such as zornas. www.knowyourorigins.org


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Intrigued? Learning the various forms of dance is a passion and requires many hours of dedication and practice. There are many teachers to study under and there are rare teachers who perfect the craft. One such dancer is dance performance artist Z Helen. Her lifelong and extensive study includes Marie Silva in Los Angeles and Bobby Farrah and Elena Lentini in New York City. She has mastered many styles of belly dance: African, modern, flamenco, and Eastern Indian, creating an infinite repertoire of interpretation. Since 1988, she has taught Middle Eastern Dance at Austin Community College, in addition to doing performances, competitions, and producing concerts. Her DVD instruction on intermediate and advanced zills (finger cymbals) is the best in the field-she has merited the title of “Jimmy Hendrix/Buddy Rich of zills.” She embodies the celebration of woman with a strong emphasis of channeling positive energy. The talent of this strong willed and beautiful lady is inspiring and beautiful. She continues to hone her craft and is a dedicated lifelong learner of all things bellydance. Z Helen and her percussionist husband Rick Fink host an improvisational dance show the last Saturday of every month at Kick Butt Coffee. This unique show is genius. Nothing is rehearsed. The drummers develop a beat ad lib and the dancers interpret that beat without rehearsal. The first half of the show is a troupe of dancers performing their heart and soul. The second half is designed by the audience. Anyone in the audience will select two to four dancers and throw out any random topic for the dancers to interpret. Drunken and angry fairies at Downton Abby, tornadoes, the revenge of the nerds, the story of Ulysses and the sylphs, or Mars attacks–nothing is too strange or too difficult for these dancers to bring to life.

THEILR | CC BY-SA 2.0

Each dancer that performs has a unique style with layers of body art and personality. One dancer, Bridget, is a Mehndi artist who uses her costume as body art. Her style comprises of unique gypsy skirts, flowers, coins, and fringed lace, all lending to her interesting dancing. Another dancer, Phaedra, prefers to show her fiery, energized side. She enjoys utilizing her face as her body art. When she dances, her eyes and facial expressions are captivating. Her costumes range from gypsy queen to peacock princess. Then there is Aurora. Her body

Origins Scientific Research Society


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art is her distinct arm movements that enhance her dance style. When asked about her dance, she relays a very personal and common theme with body and image here in America. Says she: “I can think of very few things more exposing than a ‘fat girl’ getting up on stage and showing her midriff to a group of strangers… I get up on stage and show my belly, flinging it around like a bag of oranges, twisting, turning, pooching out over my costume in sometimes the most heinous of unflattering positions. And you know what? When I’m on that stage, in ‘dancer mode’ I couldn’t possibly care less. You could sling all kinds of insults about my flab for the entire dance and if the others dancers, drummers, and friends in the audience didn’t beat you to death with your own arms first, I would flip you off and ask for another set. I feel that good on stage. My self-esteem bank account fills with every slap of the drum. And that’s just on an average dance. On a good dance? One where I feel like I rocked it? I live on that adrenaline for days.”

art is her ethereal dance style that is characterized as a fairy. Her costuming is another layer complementing the fairy persona. Her tattoos are symbolic of her inner personality and are an integral part of her dance performance. The peony tattoos along her arm are for good fortune, riches and honor. The Irish trinity is a personal symbol of her and her two children. The yellow and purple colors were chosen by her children. The fairy on her leg, Cecilia, is her energy source and gives her fire. The fairy on her neck, Sophia, is her quiet side. Says she: “The three of us make one.” The grapevine on her leg is her Celtic astrological symbol. Her dance and her life are a remarkable journey of survival and enduring love. Her costumes and her tattoos influence her dance and interpretation.

Mainstream media does not capture beauty that emerges from the heart and is probably the deciding factor on what type of dancer will appear in A-list movies or live in restaurants. The result is the general population being cheated from viewing dancers, like these girls, who have the ability to entertain and move the soul.

Siobhan’s tattoos were done before she started belly dance classes and performance. They are attributes she aspires to in daily life. One tattoo on her back is a beautiful cameo of the three graces-Charm, Beauty and Creativity. Next to the cameo, she is planning on a tattoo of Medusa as a message to prevent developing an ego and to resist any temptation she may feel from other women. Her arm is a tattoo rendition of a Peonies piece from artist Alfonse Mucha. The stars on her lower back symbolize water and fire. She has a quote from Harry Potter and on her lower leg a thread and needle. All her tattoos are a part of her charming and kind personality with a theme of balance. She became interested in 2008 in belly dance from her mom’s stories of dancing in college. She developed a costume style of caberet and tribal fusion, yet her dance

Shelagh, the Vice President of the Austin belly Dance Association and assistant to Z Helen at Austin Community College, came to belly dance as a therapeutic journey. One layer of her body

MELANIE E MAGDALEN

A & MORGAN V COUR

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Digital-dinG Productions | USED WITH PERMISSION

Siobhan Yost movements are more feminine in Egyptian style. She dresses in color to project certain images for her performance improvisations. She wears black and silver with fancy feathers to balance light hearted dance movements. For ethereal feelings, she wears light colors. Her costume is what influences her mood and dance style. Jules is a Communications teacher at Austin Community College and is a regular and favorite dancer with Z Helen’s Kick Butt Coffee show. Her costume is her body art for dance. Says she: “My costume is a work of art, but the way I express myself while dancing is the real art. It is a sense of dance self-identity... And does transform my dance based on my costume art (artifacts).” She uses a sword or veil or just inspires a violinist from the audience to play for her when she dances. The characteristics and soul of a culture is wit-

nessed in art – the complex whole of dance, visual art, music, writing, and performance. The body’s mind creates an expression or realm of what is beautiful and appealing to stir the senses. Everything and anything can be used as a canvas for this expression. The body is used in dance to interpret the soul, connect with spirit within and reach others. The canvas can be air, material or the body itself. Mehndi is the physical representation of joy and celebration, especially among women. Belly dance is another form of joy and the celebration of being a woman. It starts with the heart. The manifestation is as simple as a 3 step combination: the more intricate layers with henna or permanent ink on the body; the harmony with veils, beads, sequins, tassels, fringe, or lace on the body; and the creation and interpretation of body movements in dance. Have courage to outwardly express your heart. u Origins Scientific Research Society


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WH AT TO WATCH

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JOHN FOWLER | CC BY 3.0

Grossology

The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body Ever wonder what exactly is going on inside of you? Well at the Natural History and Science Museum in Albuquerque, NM, a current exhibit explains it all. The Grossology exhibit shows the daily processes your body goes through, from the inside to the outside. The exhibit is set up with interactive games and displays to make learning about the body fun. Primarily for kids, the exhibit allows a chance for kids to run, laugh, and play inside the museum without worrying the parents that they are being too noisy. There is even a small-scale rock wall set up for kids to play on. ‘Grossology’ has no defined order, rather it is a

trivia game that you can experience in any order. It is an interactive playhouse for visitors to enjoy and explore.

N o s e K n o w s This interactive exhibit allows visitors to press a button and learn information about their noses. It gives information about allergies, sneezing, and runny noses to let participants know what is going on inside their body that makes mucus so troublesome. S m e l l s All over our bodies we sweat and eventually we start to smell. Why does being sweaty make you smelly? The answer is held in different types of bacteria that grow on the different part of your body that the visitor can see. Be careOrigins Scientific Research Society


52 | ORIGINS

ful however, this part of the exhibit is not for the faint of heart because visitors get to smell exactly what feet, armpits, mouth, and anus actually smell like (if they choose).

B u r p i n g Burping has always sounded funny or gross, but now we get to learn exactly why we burp while making the display drink a can of soda. F a r t i n g Visitors can next take part in the more musical portion of the exhibit and learn why we fart and what exactly is the difference between farts. S k i n R o c k W a l l On this rock wall, visitors not only get to climb across, but also learn about different aspects of their skin. Aspects including cuts, scars, bruises, pimples, and hair have descriptions visitors can read while others climb across so they can learn how their skin works. A r c a d e G a m e Now time for some arcade games to introduce new information. Here visitors can learn what the body needs to process and what needs to be flushed down the tubes, so to speak. By directing elements to either be disposed of or kept, participants can learn what the body needs to keep to function and what the different elements like water, urea, sugar, and salt do to the body. V o m i t i n g The next part of the exhibit teaches visitors about why we vomit and the actual process in which our body sends signals to vomit. T r i v i a G a m e Hopefully visitors were paying attention and reading the little descriptions at each display because now it is time to battle with your friends, family, or the random stranger to see who knows their grossology the best. This trivia game is set up to test how much someone remembers from the exhibit and how much they actually paid attention to the information surrounding them. Grossology, the traveling exhibit, will remain in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science until May 4, 2014. u www.knowyourorigins.org


REVIEW IT | 53

MARGARET SMITH | CC BY 4.0

JINX! | CC BY 3.0

MARGARET SMITH | CC BY 4.0

Origins Scientific Research Society


Origins | Spring 2014  

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