What is the meaning of the Indigenous chin tattoo in California?
The chin tattoo has different meanings depending on what tribe you are from in California. This indelible marker of identity denoted coming of age, status within the tribe and tribal affiliation. Historically the tattoo was given during a puberty ceremony and could be modified after significant life events. Colonization and assimilation are part of the reason that this tradition was lost. With the strength of the Indigenous women in California and our ancestors, this traditional marker of identity is making a return to all parts of the state.
Traditional tattooing is in the revival stages all over the world. Below are some videos and links to artists that are reviving their Indigenous traditional tattoo cultures.