Sunday, July 26, 2009
Pazyryk Ice Maiden Ink
Click image(s) to see the larger version(s).
The tattoo image comes from the Flickrstream of JJ and Special K and is licensed by Creative Commons.
The original tattoo comes from the body of the so-called Ice Maiden, a woman from the 5th century BCE buried in the Pazyryk region of what is now Siberian Russia. Hers is a unique burial as she is a lone woman buried with great honor and grave goods; her headress alone takes up a third of her coffin which was made of the sacred larch tree. She was also adorned with gold and wore a silk blouse, a rare and highly prized fabric for the time. As she was obviously wealthy and also buried with horses and many other goods it has been suggested that she may have been a priestess. Whatever the case, her tattoos feature real and mythical animals, some of which are twisted into strange shapes. The animal above looks to be a deer whose antlers end in flowers. What this meant to the ancient Siberians isn't clear but it seems apparent that they felt a reverence for nature that was important enough to be expressed permanently on skin.
You can see my previous and more detailed post about the Pazyryk tattoos here.