Images of tattoos on ceramics in pre-Columbian cultures of Peru

Intentional body modifications have been with people almost from the beginning. Numerous body decorations, including tattoos, appear in cultures located around the world. Although today we perceive the phenomenon through the prism of its aesthetic function. It should be remembered that in their original meaning they were performed for cultural and social reasons, constituting a form of non-verbal inter-group and intra-group communication. They carried a message with them, express a certain idea, which undoubtedly causes that they become an important element of the social and cultural world. Their use could have been very diverse, from therapeutic to magical-ritual to social function related to the social status of the person possessing it. Archaeological findings also confirm the traces of practicing these customs. In South America, ceramic anthropomorphic vessels are found, whose iconography is undoubtedly the most numerous source for body painting research. They are found, among others, in the products of the Moche or Nasca cultural community. Painted on artifacts, painted decorations can attest to the practice of tattooing among pre-Columbian people. The diference versities of the subject of research, as well as the lack of sufficient study of archaeological material, makes the topic still a mistery.  


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