#51 – Tribal Tattoos

18 12 2009

Much the same as a herd of warring goats, bogans closely associate success and social prominence with pursuits relating to physical prowess. Finding a convenient way to channel the spirit of the gladiator in order to become the alpha of their town or suburb can be critical to the self-worth of the bogan. The bogan has a vague awareness that over the millennia, there have probably been thousands of brave feats of killing things performed by warrior-like people. But, opening a book to figure out what, where, and when can be quite threatening. Thousands of bogans have discovered that a quick and effective way to appropriate the battle markings of this imagined warrior is through a tribal tattoo.

Tribal tattoos serve another important function for the bogan; they actually allow it to convince itself that it is culturally and artistically aware. Because tribes are probably from some other culture, the bogan becomes proud of its open-mindedness and ability to embrace the thuggish tendencies of an abstract people from another era and/or community. By doing so, the bogan displays tolerance and acceptance of all people, and deeply connects with the cosmos.

Secondly, tribal tattooing allows the bogan to express its artistic ability. The bogan enjoys being able, upon enquiry about its tattoo, to state that he/she “designed it myself”. Designing a tribal tattoo requires the capacity to draw up to 60 arced or swirled lines with no defined spatial or thematic structure, and to then pass it off as inspired expression. Just as this was within the capacity of the glistening trail of a snail on a slab of hot concrete, the bogan is also able to triumph in this endeavour. Jagged lines in the design depict battle-readiness, hardness, and other unspecified warrior traits.

The bogan male is aware that a tribal tattoo is best displayed on a broad, warrior-like piece of flesh. Some bogans will achieve this through making their biceps huge at the gym, while others will eat more fatty food than they ever should. The female bogan also expresses interest in acquiring tribal markings, though generally in the form of a tramp stamp.

By expressing itself through the permanent application of a tangle of unintelligible and meaningless lines to its body, the bogan attains the status of artist, creator, warrior, and, perhaps most importantly, suitable breeding partner.


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121 responses

18 12 2009
Gav

Not to mention how well the full tribal sleeve compliments the ed hardy tshirt..

18 12 2009
Gav

wait, and also compliments the “Such is Life”

18 12 2009
kk

That’d be complements. Compliment is when you tell someone their tribal tattoo is wonderful [before quietly retiring to snigger at your leisure].

18 12 2009
Indi

Strangely it’s the gay (porn) aesthetic – which I assume has an identifying function for performers whose faces might not be in shot. Yakuzas & surfers also want to be identifiable without the full corpse present. So tough bogans look like gay porn stars- or have something other than a day job . . .

18 12 2009
Jamie

I have a distant cousin (twice or thrice removed) who proposed to his girlfriend through the medium of tattoo art. She said yes and then got her response likewise tattooed. Suffice to say they never actually married each other.

18 12 2009
Indi

Looking forward to the break-up in the medium of tattoo art ‘You Fucken Mole – You Slept with My Best Friend”
“Yeah and He’s a Better Root than you ever were”
Coming to a mall near you.

18 12 2009
berihebi
18 12 2009
Beck

This is the perfect name for a reality TV show.

18 12 2009
Fiona of Toorak

LOL. A slight correction, if I may? I believe the bogan is more likely to proclaim that he / she “designed it meself”.

18 12 2009
Beck

It’s always heart-warming to visit a Pacific Island country and watch the tourists limping out of the tattoo parlours. Whatever happened to buying a tacky souvenir?

18 12 2009
Beck

It’s always heart-warming to visit a Pacific Island country and watch the tourist limping out of the tattoo parlours. Whatever happened to buying a tacky souvenir?

18 12 2009
shazza

Last week, while expanding my own tramp stamp, the artist and I were deriding this very thing. White guys getting tribal art. Just says stoopid.

18 12 2009
Beck

Shazza, I laughed when I read your post. I fear if I was left to expand a tattoo, I would do it by eating far too many cheesy comestibles and letting nature run its course.

18 12 2009
shazza

Glad you got a laugh. I like good tatts, not a big fan of fat though.

18 12 2009
Simon

As opposed to tramp stamps?

18 12 2009
Tubesteak

Tattoos merely denote the wearer as a talentless unimaginative herdmember who spends too much time at the pub

18 12 2009
Fiona of Toorak

LOL. Or were far too influenced by Andrew Veniemin, as portrayed in that bogan favourite, “Underbelly”.

18 12 2009
shazza

I can’t agree with unimaginative Tubesteak. If you have seen the work of some of the worlds best tattoo artists you would know there is some incredibly imaginative and beautiful art around. A lot of them you will never see in public as they are on backs etc. Not obtained in order to show off to others but for the genuine love of the art form.

18 12 2009
Fiona of Toorak

LOL. Only someone named “Shazza” would attempt that argument.

18 12 2009
shazza

Not an argument Fiona of Toorak, a statement of fact. I may not be a fan of Monet by it’s still art.

22 12 2009
Sam

“there is some incredibly imaginative and beautiful art around”

So your perceived beauty in the bogan art form is “a statement of fact”…ahahaha.

My opinion is fact! Classic bogan text.

22 12 2009
shazza

Actually Sam, I am far from being a bogan. Any concept of beauty is subjective. I happen to enjoy many forms of art both classic and contemporary. You have shown yourself to be little more than a philistine with this comment.

22 12 2009
Sam

That’s great Shazza! You have turned 180deg from your tats beauty being “a statement of fact” to “the concept of beauty is subjective”.

At least you are on the right track now! Keep up the progress Shazza.

23 12 2009
shazza

The statement was in relation to tattooinig as an art form. You don’t have to appreciate it, but it’s still art, and to many a beautiful one at that. Your sarcasm is misguided Sam.

6 01 2010
Val

Someone once asked why on earth would anyone have a drawing tattooed on their body that they wouldn’t hang on their wall?
I agree with the sentiment.

6 01 2010
Miko

And only a `Fiona fron Toorak` would comment on it and use `lol`.

12 02 2010
sally

beautifully put Fiona

25 06 2010
Ben

Haha, Shazza, you are a closet Bogan. Your cliches and non-speak give you away, you Bogan you. Just come out and accept who you are.

18 12 2009
Paddington

There is a cornucopia of crassness to be found in faux tribal tattoos. My personal favourite is when the artist gets the spelling wrong. For life.

18 12 2009
H

Some of the most educated and unbogan people I know are covered in tatts
including knuckles, toes and chests.
There is nothing more they hate than people with tribal tattoos and southern cross tattoos.
Don’t lump all people with tattoos in the same bogan category.
This blog is about the new bogue who is probably likely to be the one who scoffs at those with lots of tattoos calling them the bogan when in fact they are, as they have declared it loudly on their bicep with their southern cross or tribal.

18 12 2009
Lee

Tribal tattoos on people with no link whatsoever to tribal ancestry are ridiculous.
As for the southern cross, I got mine 15 years ago, long before the associated fuckwit factor and more than likely before the majority of said fuckwits baring this same tattoo even started school.
As H said we can’t lump everyone with tatts in the same category.

18 12 2009
Muz

I feel your pain. 20 years ago, when you could still go to the cricket with a flag and not be embarrassed, I flirted with the idea of of a Southern Cross tattoo given my youth and exuberant patriotism at the time.

Fortunately I thought better of it and just as well as now you’d be inadvertently tarred with the same brush as the cape/flag wearing crusaders that were mentioned early on in TBL at Gallipoli or a music festival.

18 12 2009
Lee

Yep, I have had a few people comment along the lines of “oh, you have one of those………..”

20 12 2009
big_fat_floppy_juloppies

IT would be unlikely they are not linked to tribal ancestry, a majority of us are linked to ancient tribal groups.

24 12 2009
??

oh yes we can

18 12 2009
Paddington

Tribal tattoos is what TBL’s blog post is about, not tattoos per se. And, as further clarification, it should be noted it pertains to FAKE tribal tattoos, that is, tribal tattoos you get when you haven’t anything to do with that specific group of people. The sort an individual gets simply because they think they look good. Tribal tattoos belonging to an indigenous group have specific and special meaning and should not be hijacked by people merely wishing to look “bitchin'”.

8 01 2010
Annette

But aren’t all tattoos “got” because someone thinks they look good? What about a bit of the ole Mary & Jesus ink? It may have some significance for the wearer, but was mostly chosen because of the way it looks.

One thing the tatooed always say to me is “You either get it, or you don’t. I just like tattoos.” They don’t always have to mean something. Why someone would get needles repeatedly thrust under their skin for beauty… well, I just don’t get it. Sorry tattooed husband!

17 01 2010
Paddington

Annette, Tribal tattoos have specific significance in the places they originated. They were not chosen because they looked good; they were linked to title; position; new stages of life such as initiation in man/womanhood; stages of warriorhood; and the like. The symbols contained within the tattoo have meaning; the actual ceremonies of getting the tattoo drawn (very painful, traditionally) also have special meaning.

18 12 2009
dizzy

Yeah most of the people I associate with are covered with awesome tatts, but knuckles and necks are going a bit too far imo… although girls with subtle neck tattoos are hot.

I have a tribal sleeve and a Japanese sleeve. The tribal was to cover a badly scarred arm so I don’t claim to be anything other than a big fan of tattoos and body art.

TBL – this post isn’t all that impressive! Kind of rehashing the tramp stamp one (which was waaaay funnier!)

You’ve laid out your conflict of interest quite nicely there. For the sake of trivia, this was the very first entry ever drafted for the blog, which has only seen the light of day today. It’s the Edmund Barton of TBL entries. TBL

18 12 2009
Kaiks

The bogan veneer is not difficult to identify.

9 01 2010
brad

im pretty sure the Edmund Barton pun was wasted on dizzy and im certain he’s never heard of Tenzing who in actual fact was the first man too climb Everest!

25 06 2010
Ben

“tattoos are hot”

Hahahahahha, you mindless bogan, you. Go back to your big brother and your McCain Oven Fried Perfection chips.

25 12 2009
Sam

The key words in your post are “people I know”.

These disgraces that “you know” who have tattooed knuckles are bogans and so are you.

18 12 2009
DentShop

I love the bogan that gets the barbed wire, chain link or tribal gunk a little too late after it was cool. Not only has he now officially killed the trend, but has also been left with a permanent reminder of his stupidity.

Bogan moment: A neighbourhood chum of mine went and photographed his burnouts from the night before and had a tattoo artist model the results into a tribal tattoo. The rubber is gone from the tarmac but the stupidity remains forever inked into his shoulder. When I asked him why he did something so stupid he replied “Thats why I didnt tell you I was doing it. Your negative attitude would have changed my mind…”

18 12 2009
Indi

Wow, the existential bogan, with a hankering to make some art as well.

18 12 2009
j-ho

Oh dear. Please try and get a picture of this tattoo, for the greater good of TBL it needs to be seen.

18 12 2009
Anonymous Bosch

They also love tattooing little Jaxson and LaTeesha’s names and birthdates on their inner bicep. Wonder what they do with the third kid.

18 12 2009
Lee

I don’t see anything wrong with having your child’s name tattooed on you, so long as it’s done tastefully and holds meaning.

18 12 2009
Muz

Is that in case you forget their names? What’s wrong with a photo?

What about the peanuts with their surnames scrawled massively over their back. Is that in case they forget who they are?

18 12 2009
Muz

On another point I’ve never understood why you’d get a tattoo of some dead relative as to somehow ‘honour’ them. Exactly how does marking yourself up honour them?

It is just as ridiculous to say I’m going to wear this badge on the front of my shirt that I’ve made up to ‘honour’ X as a tribute to them for the rest of my life.

My brother karked it last year and someone asked me whether I was going to ink up? Exactly what for I asked? Firstly I didn’t as I can’t see the point and secondly I can hear my brother saying now ‘mate, don’t be a tool’.

You honour someone by remembering them, you don’t honour them by defacing your body. You may as well go out a graffiti their name on the front of your driveway for all of the sense that doing something like that makes.

18 12 2009
Lee

I see your point Muz and I do agree however I see it as a matter of personal preferrance.
I have designed a tattoo of my daughter’s name (which I will get in the winter time), this will be my own way of having her with me always as my work takes me all over the state sometimes for weeks at a time and I miss her a lot when I’m away.
As for a dead relative I believe everybody honours them in their own way and whether it be through fond memories, photos or tattoos any way you do this is as noble as the last so long as you are at peace with which way you decide to do so.

21 12 2009
Harold Holt's Floaties

each to their own – ive seen a mate get a nice design done with his late brother’s name under a modified family crest. looks quite good actually & very original. i thought this post was taking the mickey out of tribal designs, not all tatt designs. i dont have any but can appreciate people with their own tatt styles.

24 12 2009
??

i hope ur joking there

18 12 2009
Kaiks

It’s always fun to ask what the tattoo is symbolic of, you either get a funny story or a blank look. Both are entertaining and well worth the effort to suppress your laughter.

18 12 2009
Beck

On a slightly different path, has everyone heard of the chap who duly paid for this Chinese character tattoo denoting “strength”, “determination” or some such thing, only to find out later it meant something like “ugly dog”? I adore this story, even if it is urban myth.

18 12 2009
Kaiks

You might enjoy this, I can’t remember if this or another site has the bad translation tattoos.

http://ugliesttattoos.com

18 12 2009
Beck

Gadzooks! Why would anyone get a pile of excrement tattooed on their back?

18 12 2009
Kaiks

No doubt they’d say something like “it’s a reminer to leave the shit behind me”

18 12 2009
Kaiks

Or maybe they gave the tattooist some free reign on the design by saying “gimme some awesome tribal thing or some shit like that”

18 12 2009
Horse

What about the old urban myth about the bogan with Scottish heritage? Got spastic drunk and finished up in a tattoo parlour…………woke up the next day with ‘Bonnie Scotland’ beautifully inked on his shoulder in ‘ye olde’ style lettering. Topped off with …………… a big orange pineapple where the thistle should have been

18 12 2009
Beck

That’s fantastic. He got the rough end of it, then. *boom boom*

18 12 2009
Dee

I have a tattoo of a shamrock and one of a fleur-de-lis, and I am neither Irish nor French. This confirms what I have long suspected – subconsciously, I am something of a bogan. *shame*

18 12 2009
Beck

No to worry, Dee. No one could file a shamrock or a fleur-de-lis under “tribal”.

18 12 2009
Fiona of Toorak

LOL. No, it would be filed under “B” for bogan though.

18 12 2009
Lee

LOL. Sod off fiona.

22 12 2009
Sam

Haha, yes it would Fiona, yes it would!
Judging by the comments on this blog nowadays the title should be changed to “Things Bogans can Justify about being Bogans as there are Bigger Bogans out there”.

This blog has truely morphed into something new and more hilarious. Keep up the prompting TBL – Genius.

22 12 2009
Beck

I despise the word “nowadays”. Rubbishy Middle English derivations.

18 12 2009
Indi

Unless they were Irish or French

18 12 2009
Toddo

It is true that many Bogans seek to climb the hard-man ladder and be the alpha male of their workplace, suburb, street or failing that, house.
Nothing expresses the hardness factor like a Celtic band scribed onto a flabby arm in Thailand, to declare that “you better not mess with me coz I’m tough, I survived a beating @ a Freo pub from 3 bouncers (Hello brother in law, if u are reading this)
However, I have observed that Danny Green, AKA ‘the Green Machine’, or affectionately ‘Greeny’ hold some sort of unattainable status worthy of worship as a supreme being. He has the tribal tatts, he has it all.

18 12 2009
Muz

The hard man ladder includes a massive aggressive dog as a matter of course. Walk around the outer suburbs of Darwin and Brisbane for a perfect example of ‘I’m a big man because I have a big fuck-off dog’ syndrome.

We’re on that. https://thingsboganslike.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/278/ TBL

18 12 2009
M E Nelson Esq

Here’s the triple whammy of bogan…flying on a discount airline to SE Asian bogan holiday destination to get the tribal tattoo, because it’s cheaper there. Yep, I know a guy who has a holiday every year in Thailand so he can get another tribal tattoo. He never showed any inkling of boganism until he married one. Shame, because he is a nice bloke.

18 12 2009
Indi

Does she go along for bit of ‘work’?

18 12 2009
Indi

Surely cosmetic surgery is coming as a post?

18 12 2009
Shandarleeer

I remember about 15 years ago tribal tattoos started off as quite simple, fine ink-work that was usually small and proportionate. Then as the footy players started getting them they became huge thigh to neck, aggressive, heavy swirling, jagged pieces of shite that they have become today. What they don’t realise is all that all the black work is going to fade back to pale/patchy grey eventually and they will need to re do if they want it to look good after 10 years. By then of course they’ll be over it

19 12 2009
j-ho

So true, the garishness of the thick tribal tattoo is an absolute horror.

18 12 2009
Azza

I know two people who have tribal Tatts. My Aunti has a tramp stamp woven with three hearts to represent her kids. haha. Tribal Tattoos are pretty. My cousin has one on his arm and it also looks pretty. Even Funnier though, My cousin recently got two hands together, like praying, with rosary beads wrapped around them. A month later my cousin also got rosary beads. The irony of this is neither of them are religous. We all had a religious upbringing, but none of us are practicing catholics. I laughed in my cousins face when she told me the meaning behind the beads “Grandma and Grandad are Religous” WTF?? Apparently one of the celebs has beads, and im pretty sure its what inspired the tatts!!

18 12 2009
Simon

Any way you want to paint it, tattoos are bogan all over, does not matter the design, colour or placement. They simply scream look at me, I’m a dipstick who lets bikies scribble on me and I am stuck with this for the rest of my life.

18 12 2009
Shandarleeer

As opposed to desperate to blend in and be just like everyone else? Every decision we make , from what we wear to tattoos is pure drag designed to signify our identification with our chosen, dare i say it , “Tribe”

18 12 2009
dizzy

how many tattooists you know are bikies?? hahahaha

18 12 2009
shazza

Simon, your’e such a country bumpkin.

21 12 2009
Simon

Shazza can’t type. Did not realise it is ok to have Tatts because you live in the city. Us poor country people just miss out all over. Also Tatts still suck.

22 12 2009
shazza

If I can’t type, then what are you reading?

22 12 2009
Simon

Shazza,

You meant to abbreviate you are, hence ‘ in the wrong place.

22 12 2009
shazza

That’s punctuation not typing my friend.

22 12 2009
shazza

BY the way tatts does not require a capital T.

6 01 2010
blooch

Maybe he’s German.

18 12 2009
Simon

Yes, Tribe Bogan who blend in by trying to stand out. Bikies may be a simplification but you know what I mean.

19 12 2009
Anonymous Bosch

They want to stand out from the herd, yes, but only in the carefully-designated, socially-acceptable way. You have to express your individuality in an identical manner to the rest of the Bogan Peer Group, or you run the risk of being labelled an Outsider. You can see when this is happening: Bogan’s get the same suspicious, confused head-tilt expression that dogs get when they’re trying to make sense of something.

18 12 2009
Beck

Digressing yet again: Stick-on tattoos for kiddies have also reached a new level. A department store has a display of “sleeves” for children. What happened to the days when a Charlie Brown stick-on tattoo was wrapped around some form of poor-quality confectionary?

18 12 2009
Simon of South Yarra

Tattoos – not for nothing were they the staple of the freak shows

21 12 2009
Indi

And the Churchills

18 12 2009
JimC

You gotta love all those posers with tattoos that say stuff like ‘Number 24 with Black Bean Sauce’, while they tell their bogan brethren that the tattoo means ‘strength’ (to bash bystanders in a pub) and ‘honour’ (to abuse the woman behind the counter at the local Centrelink).

18 12 2009
Kaiks

I think a lot of people miss the purpose of this blog. It is called ‘thingsboganslike’, not ‘thingsthatmakeyoubogan’. Just because you also like the things bogans like doesn’t mean you are a bogan, but you may have bogan qualities (oxymoron, I know).

There are more types of people than bogan and non-bogan. The bogan tries to emulate and project an image without integrity.

18 12 2009
shazza

Jolly well said Kaiks.

22 12 2009
Harold Holt's Floaties

spot on Kaiks.

22 12 2009
Sam

yeah, I like tatts and stuff but my tatts are unique and deep and meaningful and I am in no way a bogan.

19 12 2009
Rebelbrowser

I’m afraid all tattoos are rediculous, even the commemorative ones because of one simple fact: if you wake up one day regretting the decision you can’t change your mind.

20 12 2009
chubbybloodfart

ridiculous: –adjective. causing or worthy of ridicule or derision; absurd; preposterous; laughable.

Insular: -adjective. narrow-minded or illiberal; provincial

20 12 2009
chubbybloodfart

Solecism –noun
1. a nonstandard or ungrammatical usage,
2. a breach of good manners or etiquette.
3. any error, impropriety, or inconsistency.

20 12 2009
big_fat_floppy_juloppies

um, yes you can ! There are a few ways to deal with unwanted tattoos these days….geez!

20 12 2009
shazza

Just like having kids Rebelbrowser.

21 12 2009
dizzy

hahahahahaha! i think bogans think less about having children than getting tatts….

20 12 2009
20 12 2009
Muz

Sign that bloke up, he is a genius!

20 12 2009
Tracy

aaaa but anyone putting any tat on them should make that tat mean something to them – not just a whim. A tat should be an insight into who you are, what you have experienced, who you love or have lost… remember your body is becoming a canvas – be sure the art upon that canvas makes sense to the one that will be carrying it around for years… YOU!

20 12 2009
Rebelbrowser

It’s easy to tell who has tats isn’t it Shazza and Chubbydictionary and I’ll wager there have been times when you’ve regretted it.

22 12 2009
shazza

Rebelbrowser I stated clearly I have tattoos. I’m not sure why you are so certain I would have regret. Like Simon, you seem to have some antiquated notions about tattoos. Most of the work I see displayed (usually on bogans) is crap. Shitty work, unimaginative and ugly. If you judge all work by that standard then no wonder you have that attitude. I would too.

21 12 2009
Mr Lee

A friend of mine saw a freshly inked arm at the bottle shop that said ‘What doesn’t kill me makes me sronger” (sic) in gangstar ye olde. Let it be known that she didn’t bring up the typo with him, just ran back to tell us the story.

23 12 2009
Big Jamie

I see nothing wrong with people getting their kids names tattooed on their flesh. What I hate is bogans who mistreat their kids trying to prove they love said child by getting its name inked. Why? To remind yourself to neglect it some more.

24 12 2009
Beck
6 01 2010
Indi

Lordy, lordy. These could be a lot of fun- whose ever seen Kevin Rudd in short sleeves?

6 01 2010
Dan Lewis

Best tattoo ever:

Your original link didn’t work, Dan. We assume you meant this tattoo though? TBL

13 01 2010
Lana

Oh wow.. that is so wrong on a million levels

*Puking in my mouth*.. Why would someone do that? and who is going to see that?

Dont tell me? poor beach goes who will be mentally scarred by the sight of “lawn being mowed”

19 03 2010
Sean

The most bogan tattoo I’ve ever seen was the Chanel logo between a woman’s shoulder blades. Of course she was wearing something like a boob tube in order to show it off to maximum effect.

12 10 2010
Jimmy Clegg

That is so bogan!!!
terrible!

15 12 2010
Macka

Indeed these tatts and “sleeves” are the highest of bogan expressionism. Particularly prevalent amongst bogan sportsmen.

As the female bogan has the “tramp stamp” the male bogan displays the “bogan slogan”

15 12 2010
Web Design

He will want to remove that in a few years 🙂

16 12 2010
Lucie from the fancy pants inner eastern suburbs

So far I have enjoyed reading the comments more than the article.
You’re all a bunch of haters. If you don’t have a tattoo, why do you care so much? Is it because some part of you wishes that at some point in your life you were ballsy enough to have a needle jabbed into you for four hours? I’ve definitely lived the ‘country bumpkin bogan’ lifestyle as well as the ‘inner city snob’ one and I have to say I admire the bogans resilience to the knocks of life far more than the women driving around in massive fwd that have never had a speck of dirt on them and their 20 year ‘children’ that still call them ‘mummy’.

16 12 2010
p'bee

you realise the massive 4wd women are also largely bogan, don’t you.

16 12 2010
SD

Ha ha.

Also commenters on this site are more likely to walk/cycle and have many specks of dirt?!

I want to be totally ballsy too – besides tattoos what other mutilation will be helpful?

8 11 2012
Mick

Maybe they should add another another category to TBL…..posting your comments in a forum to bag out other bogans. Just a thought

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