Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tattooed Croatian Grandmothers

My grandmothers were never a big part of my life. My father's mother committed suicide when I was only two, and my mother's mother passed when I was 11, but she spent the last six years of her life (and therefore most of the time I was, you know, conscious) taking care of my grandfather, her husband, who'd had a devastating stroke.

I really missed out on the grandparent front, like I said in My September 11, 2001, so I've always had a peculiar affection for older people. Enjoying my elders and loving history and personal stories as I do this article I found hit an awesome trifecta: Tattooed Croatian Grandmothers.

Croatia, like most of Eastern Europe, has had a turbulent history-- rife with wars and invasions. During this a Catholic sect (or cult...) of women began identifying its fellow members by distinctive hand tattoos. Mothers then began tattooing their children to help prevent kidnapping. When the communists took over, though, these tattoos identified the women as Catholics which led to their persecution, so the tradition died out.

How interesting is that? I love it. The link above takes you to the article which has a lot of pictures and even notes on the process (apparently breast milk was an important ingredient).


I'm feeling better today, thank goodness, maybe this cold will be a short one. Stay well, everyone!

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