Full Body Tattoos
Full body tattoos or a suit is the common phrase for a person with tattoos that cover the entire body. The practice of getting a body suit of tattoos has been around for centuries within the eastern and western cultures.Originally these full body tattoos had a single theme and purpose to the people that wore them. The themes and purposes varied widely from one culture to another.
Japanese tattoo art and tattoo cover ups
The eastern cultures, specifically the Japanese, have been tattooing for over two thousand years. The beginning purpose of tattoo in Japan were to mark violators of the law. These people then began to use full body suits to hide the marks imposed on them by the government.
It is still forbidden today to display publicly these body suits. There is an organization in Japan, the Yakuza, that is commonly associated with full body tattoos. This organization is considered the Japanese form of the mafia. They are well-known for the tattoos that cover their bodies.
Tribal tattoo art
With practically every native tribe on the planet the act of tattooing and being tattooed is a common practice. There are many of these tribes that considered and still believe that tattoos are a sacred act and have important spiritual meanings.
Others have used full body tattoos as status symbol's, marriage symbols or social designation. It was not uncommon for the chiefs and high officials in these tribes to be recognized by the number of tattoos and the amount of skin covered by these tattoos.
Hawaiian tribal tattoos
One interesting story regarding a tribal chief and the tattoos that indicated his status comes from a very famous wrestler, “The Rock”. In his biography he tells of his grandfather, Peter Maivia, who was a Samoan High Chief and how he obtained his tribal tattoos that covered his abdomen and legs.
He described the process, that normally occurs over a period of years, being done over a three day period due to his wrestling schedule. The Rock also stated they were completed with traditional Samoan instrumentation: a small hammer, a needle and ink.
Full body tattoos in the western world are generally associated with freak shows and circus performers. Guinness, the world record trackers, have several records associated with tattooing including one for the most complete coverage. This record is currently held by Lucky Diamond Rich, who has every square inch of flesh covered in some type of ink.
When thinking about taking the drastic step of covering your entire body in tattoos there are a few key things to be considered.
Theme – Most “suits” have a general theme running throughout the tattoos. This is strictly the person getting the inks decision. Some people start with one or two and then carry on that way until they have a suit, completely unplanned. These generally don't have a single theme, they are a conglomeration of all the tattoos they chose to get until they were covered.
Cost- Getting full body tattoos is a very expensive endeavor. There are several sources that have stated the minimum cost starts at $20,000. This is definitely a deciding factor in a persons decision on how many tattoos and how much skin they choose to have covered.
Tattoo maker (artist)
Artist(s) – The work involved in a full body suit can require hundreds of hours of sitting time. This would require a large commitment from an artist or group of artists working on the suit. The commitment of skin to this endeavor would make a skilled artist an absolute must! It would be an understatement to say you want the most skilled tattoo artist available for a work like a full body suit.
Working on your own full body tattoos? Would you like to share pictures and perhaps your motivation for undertaking this immense work? We would love to add your pics and info to our gallery! Please send these through our contact us page. Please keep it clean; no profanity or vulgarity will be posted.