Tattoos have been popular for many generations in Nepal, especially among the Newari and Tharu communities and also amongst Gurungs and Magars. The Newar community of the Kathmandu Valley may be the first to have used traditional tattoos in this country. During ancient times, tattoo represented a beautiful combination of impressive architecture and intricate ornaments. Tattoos were mostly used by women on their hands, limbs, legs and chest with various designs and patterns. It was done during special meals and jatras / festivals as a symbol of dignity and beauty.
However, this ancient art form has got commercialized and has gained a lot of popularity in the Nepali society. Commercially, the modern form of tattoo is said to have been introduced in Nepal by the late Babu Raja Pradhan of Thamel Tattoo Studio, Nepal’s first tattoo studio, back in 1997. With the change in time, the concept and technology of tattooing have changed. It has become popular in Nepal especially among young people as a part of a fashion statement. Nowadays, most of the clients want personalized tattoo combined traditional designs with modern ones with unique designs, colors and patterns to define their personalities.
One of the tattoo lovers who recently had a unique “tattoo of clock and direction ” on his body said he inked his body to express his passion for art and have some hidden message with him forever. It took about 4 hours to get his tattoo completed. He further expressed he had a divine feeling even in the pain of the ink.
In Nepal, International Nepal Tattoo Convention takes place every year to showcase the ocean of tattoo artists, modern techniques and enthusiasts from all over the globe! More details about the event can be found on their official site
Myths around Tattoo
- It is believed tattoo is the only items human can take with us after we die.
- After we die, tattoo inked in our body converts into gold and we can sell them to continue our journey.
Have you ever got your body inked? If yes, share your tattoo story in the comment section. 🙂