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Tattooing - The Arctic's Magical Art
Early Arctic cultures developed an intricate religion that centered on the belief in spirits. One way to survive in a forbidding world was by satisfying the spirits that controlled it, and tattooing became a tool in those efforts. It was believed that the indelible mark served as both a protective shield and a sacrifice to the supernatural.
For dots, a small sharp stick was dipped into oily soot and pricked into the pores of the skin.
Tattooing was broadly practiced by Inuit groups but was usually confined to women - the painful procedure produced patterns that were much admired by the men. Today, the traditional practise of this "magical art" has all but died out.
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