Thursday, March 23, 2006

Map Meh Out A Tattoo Of TRIN-O-DAD

A painting of Gilles Budin from 1997, Tattoo Farm, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies

As a Trinidadian or Tobagonian,
How true are you ? At your death bed what marking would identify you as a, Trini to the skin?

The flag of Trinidad and Tobago tattooed on the chest of a young National (courtesy of the Tattoo Farm)

According to Mr. Gilles Budin, the operator of Tattoo Farm, a hopeful client walked into his studio and asked if he could correct a typographical mistake on a tattoo which was on his back. He then proceeded to brazenly removed his shirt and exposed a large ink drawing. Mortified by this rendition of a crude map of Trinidad with the words T R I N O D A D, the tattoo artist responsible believed that by replacing the letter "A" inside of the letter "O", the word would be correct. Unaware to him that the island of T R IN A D A D is spelt T R I N I D A D.

Here is an example of what the man's back may have looked like which was to nclude towns, boroughs, villages and streets inside tattooed as part of the map. Gilles eloquently said, What about traffic lights?

In many parts of Trinidad and Tobago, young men had their tattoos made by using the process of a number of needles bunched together and dipped in Indian Ink. The puncture marks would form the outline of the pattern and also it would irritate the skin. As the skin begins to swell, the care of the incision would be to rub the spot with
petroleum jelly until the healing had flaked off the scab. Only then would the tattoo be revealed. The experience is remarked as an unpleasant one.

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