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Feature Article

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Signs of Difference
Translation by Bellafuegas

The title of the article is "Signs of Difference" but difference in this case implies a way of differentiating yourself as different from other people.

"We already are used to tattoos as an integral part of the image that goes with tribal dance. One always wants to look closer at each drawing and find out its meaning and history. So then, for the readers of "Oriental" magazine nothing is impossible! The bearer of these unusual decorations and correspondent Nadia Gativa have helped us to demystify these elusive/secretive tribal tattoos.

Caroleena Nericcio, creator of ATS, is one of the first tattooed dancers. First her back was decorated by the Phoenix bird. After that on her lower back appeared five diamonds -- copies of an amulet of the Tuareg tribe.

"Decoration was a talisman that was passed down from mother to daughter and symbolized health and fertility" -- says Caroleena. When she decided to make dance her primary occupation, on her body appeared the "hand of Fatima" and the word "ghawzeei", meaning "dancer" and.... "prostitute". Why? Because people always look at independent women as a negative influence.

On Caroleena's shoulder blades-- are the Greek names of her Grandfather and Grandmother; on her wrists -- are the words "mother" and "father". On her right shoulder -- the goddess of compassion, Guan Yin surrounded by a lotus.

"She changed my life, and it was was crucial to feel her near me constantly", -- says the dancer. On her left shoulder-- fish, a turtle, lotuses, Japanese air ornaments and the words "one life" and "ahimsa" ("do no harm")."

Carolena Click images to see full size
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