Category : Tattoos of Asia

The Ramnami People, Chhattisgarh, India

The Ramnami Samaj are a group of people living in Chhattisgarh in India. They are the only people in this project who cannot be categorised as a tribe. They are simply a sect of Hindu believers who devoutly follow Rama as their god. Their tattooing practice was started as they were not allowed into temples in the past because of their dalit status in the caste system that India’s society operated on. Unlike most Hindu groups, the Ramnami tattoo रामराम […]

The Kui People of Odisha, India

The Kui people are a self-sufficient tribe residing mostly in the hills of central Odisha, India. They have a history of human sacrifice and facial tattooing, yet are scarcely documented no matter where one looks. Although their practice of human sacrifice has ceased, animal sacrifice is still common among the villagers. I came across the Kui people as I was searching the Internet for various tattoo-faced peoples of Asia. The world commonly knows them as the Kutia Kondh (an Oriya […]

The Ollo People, Arunachal Pradesh, India

The Ollo are a Naga people living in both Arunachal Pradesh in India and the Naga Self Administered Zone of Myanmar. They are also known as Lazu Naga or Oloh, but the current official spelling of the tribal name is Ollo. In Arunachal Pradesh, they live in the restricted area of Lazu District. Although currently considered to be a sub-group of the Nocte people, they are petitioning to be recognised as an independent group based on their unique culture, language, […]

Konyak Naga Facial Tattoo - Penlung


“We are born with nothing. We die with nothing. The only thing we can take with us is our tattoo.” Our interview with Penlung was our last before we left Sheanghah Chingnyu. We had been trying to catch him for a couple of days, but despite the constant rain and his age, he was always out working. We finally managed to meet him on our way home late one night and asked if we could see him the following morning. As […]

The Hiatuii People, Chin State, Myanmar

The Hiatuii are a small group within the greater Chin Nation. Their numbers are not exact, but village heads say there are only 10 villages containing a total of approximately 2000 of Hiatuii people. They are all dotted between the larger groups of Ng’hang and Vet along the Laymro and Tin rivers in Chin State, Myanmar. As far as the village elders know, there are only 5 living ladies with the Hiatuii facial tattoo. One thing that makes the Hiatuii […]

Brao Facial Tattoo Laos

Drinking with Hame – Laos

TAVEA TUM, THE BRAO TRADITIONAL RICE LIQUOR It would be difficult to find traditional clothing. That’s what we were told. The local government had one full set of female clothing, and a top for the men. That was all they had been able to find over the years. You see, traditional woven outfits take time to make and have become more and more expensive over the years. Cheaper, simpler alternatives in Western-style clothing have become the norm for minorities in […]

Truku Hunter, Taiwan

The Truku Warrior

AN AUSTRALIAN, AN ITALIAN, AND A HEADHUNTER WALK INTO A 7 ELEVEN… At half-past-five, my alarm rings. I’m not asleep, though. I have a thousand thoughts flicking about my mind. We’re driving from Taipei to Hualien today to meet a Truku musician. Typhoon Meranti is battering the island with record winds and rainfall. Will we make it? Our guide is expected to update us with weather conditions by six o’clock. I slip down to the 7 Eleven at the bottom […]