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A unique illustrated reference on the origins and meanings of nearly one thousand tattoo symbols that serves as a guide for choosing a personal image and provides a fascinating look at the tattoo as a work of art.
Tattoos continue to move into the mainstream and grow in popularity with each passing day. For people contemplating getting a tattoo, however, the choice of images can be overwhelming. A comprehensive, informative exploration of the colorful world of tattoos, The Tattoo Encyclopedia presents concise descriptions of symbols both common and unusual and sheds light on their historic, religious, and cultural significance.
Organized in a convenient A-to-Z format, cross-referenced, indexed by category, and illustrated with three hundred samples of authentic tattoo line art, this book features a stunning array of images ranging from ancient Buddhist and Chinese designs to those sported by twenty-first-century bikers. The definition of each symbol includes the widely accepted interpretation based on historical fact and cultural source, as well as various interpretations that have developed across different cultures and time periods.
Whether choosing a personally significant tattoo, wanting to learn more about a symbol, or simply being interested in tattoos as a form of art and body decoration, readers will discover the richness of tattoo culture in The Tattoo Encyclopedia.
Skipping the technical details of how to get a tattoo, Green's catalog delves into the fascinating realm of why people get tattoos and what images they choose. After an introduction sketching the history of skin art, Green, an archaeologist and UCLA research associate, launches into an alphabetical encyclopedia with a collection of common tattoo symbols under each letter. She offers an illustration of the symbols and describes the meaning and symbolism behind each. For example, a hammer suggests"might, activity, and brute force." The book also explains more obscure tattoos, such as the number 13, which stands for the thirteenth letter of the alphabet (M) and is sometimes used in lieu of a marijuana leaf; and a sunflower, which represents constancy. Green covers some 800 images, from acorn ("an ancient representation of life and birth") to Zuni fetish (a popular Native American symbol).