Foto Friday – Tattoos

July 9, 2010

What a fun topic we have this week! Unfortunately I’m going to have to torture you with the back story before you get to the pic.

Back in college, while I was researching my senior thesis on Slave Folktales (I was a history major before I became a tech geek), I had the opportunity to read folktales from England/Europe, Africa and Native American tribes. The American slave folktales took elements from each culture. It was the Native American tales that fascinated me and I read several from various tribes in the southwestern U.S. that had a common character: Kokopelli. If you’ve lived in or traveled to that area you’ve definitely seen him. And if not, you’ve probably also seen him.

kokopelliIn all of these tales I read kokopelli was portrayed as this happy-go-lucky trickster who danced around playing his flute and moved from one village to the next playing tricks and generally making merry. Most of his tricks were funny but some were not. He was a bit of a rogue and liked to do things his own way. In any case, I fell in love with the idea of this music-loving free spirit who danced around happily all the time without a care in the world.

Fast forward a few years. After contemplating a tattoo for several years, and in particular this tattoo, I decided that if I still liked the idea after all that time then I should do it. So I did. It ended up being a little larger than I intended and not located quite where I originally envisioned. The tattoo artist was a friend and he talked me in to tweaking a bit. As I was laying on the table having him ink me, a coworker walked in and said, “Cool. Kokopelli. Fertility God.” I did a double take. Wha? Fertility God? WhatchutalkinboutWillis? I had always seen him portrayed as a trickster. At the time, I was embarrassed to think someone might think I was getting a fertility tattoo. Although I was secretly OK with it because I had endometriosis and knew I might one day have fertility issues when the time came. But that time hadn’t yet come.

I have since come across countless other people who have learned of him as being a symbol of fertility. Over the years I vehemently defended my reasoning that he was a trickster. Yes, some of his tricks were impregnating women (often women who were not being successfully impregnated by their husbands) but those were just a few of his many tricks so why is it that he’s remembered only for that? I have no idea. It seems he is both. See wikipedia for more info. What I do know is that I am no longer embarrassed for people to think my tattoo is a fertility symbol – because I’m trying to get pregnant. And a small, silly, superstitious part of me hopes my tattoo (located near my right ovary) will help. The trickster appealed to me in my 20s. The fertility god appeals to me now. Can anyone else say that their tattoo has evolved with them over the years?

This tattoo is now 11 years old and still my only one. And I still love it. Over the years I keep saying I want to get another. And maybe I still will. But it’s hard to top this one (not in quality but in meaning). I know in general what I want my next one to be but I’m not sure where to put it and I haven’t seen a design I love. I’d like a fox. Not a vamped up vixen sexy tat. Not an airbrushed looking realistic fox. Not an overly cartoony or cutesy fox. Just a fox. Maybe in color or maybe just an outline or a tribal-like representation of a fox. But it can’t look too much like the stupid Fox Racing logo. And although I like the Firefox logo I don’t want a tat of a browser. Feel free to send me any fox images you might find that would look good as a tattoo. And thanks in advance.

Photo Friday


2 Responses to “Foto Friday – Tattoos”

  1. Sonja Says:

    I love it!

  2. […] ovulated from that side yet so I wanted to give her a chance. <superstition> And that’s Kokopelli’s ovary . </superstition> I think I’ll refer to the right ovary as Koko from now on. Koko has […]

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