Several tribes in various countries in the world have a culture of tattooing their bodies, such as in Latin America and Africa. Meanwhile in Indonesia, there are also several tribes which are still practicing traditional tattoos on their bodies. Here are Indonesian traditional tattoo tribes which are still exist until now.
- Traditional Tattoo of Mentawai Tribe
The Mentawai Tribe lives in the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra. They have a habit of tattooing their bodies with a special motif called “Titi”. The term for the tattoo artists or people who are good at making tattoos in Mentawai is “Sipatiti” or “Sipaniti”. Most of the Mentawai Tribe tattoo motifs are stones, animals, plants, bows, hooks, rattan thorns and livestock. It is a symbol of the balance of nature and beauty. Mentawai Tribe tattoos are thought to be the oldest body art in the world, even older than tattoo art in Egypt. But nowadays, the tattoo culture of the Mentawai Tribe is increasingly rare because of the inclusion of religious teachings and education through the community. But we can still see this one of Indonesian traditional tattoo art in the villages of Madobak, Ugai, and Matotonan which are in the upper reaches of the South Siberut River, Siberut Island, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra.
- Traditional Tattoo Art from Dayak Tribe
The Dayak Tribe in Kalimantan area also have a habit of tattooing their bodies, such as the Iban Dayak Tribe, Tunjung Dayak Tribe, Mainland Dayak Tribe, Kenyah Dayak Tribe and Kayan Dayak Tribe. According to the tradition of Dayak people, making a tattoo is a culture related to worship, art and as a marker of social status in the group. They believe that tattoos on the body can save themselves and ward off evil influences. Dayak men and women have different thoughts in making traditional tattoo art on their bodies. The men usually make tattoos with motifs that symbolize masculinity, success in war and a tribal identity. Those who tattoo their bodies feel proud because they can make a spectacular impression. Meanwhile for women, this tattoo art serves as a means to beautify themselves.
- The Moi’s Tattoo Culture
Tattoo art on the Moi Tribe has started since the Neolithic era around 1500 BC. This tribe lives in the area of Sorong Regency, West Papua. The tattoo motifs are usually in the form of geometric and circular lines accompanied by points in the form of conical triangles. The body parts that are usually tattooed are the chest, cheeks, eyelids, calves, hips and back. Currently the art of tattoo culture in Moi Tribe community is rarely done by the younger generation because it is considered ancient. So it is estimated that the art of Indonesian traditional tattoo on the body in the Moi tribe will eventually disappear because it is not preserved well by the young generation.