Monday, November 11, 2002

Martin, Hávamál

Name:  Martin Steendahl
From:  Denmark
Artist:  Erik Reime
Studio:  Kunsten på Kroppen
Location:  Copenhagen-Denmark
Gallery debut:  2002 November 11th

Quotations tattoo is based on:
The runic text has been taken from a cycle of poems from the Viking age, called Hávamál, and is in the original tongue. The quotation translates into something like:

"Cattle die,
kinsmen die
all men are mortal.
Words of praise
will never perish
nor a noble name."

The other leg has another runic text: a total quote of the oldest Danish folksong, taken from an old law collection. It translates to: "I dreamed myself a dream tonight, of silk and honest cloth."

The whole tattoo resembles a Samoan pe'a and was done in a mixture of traditional Polynesian technique and Erik's own hand tattooing technique. It took two years to finish it. The basic pattern has been derived from Samoa in the Pacific. Since they are Danish, they have added some Viking history. The actual runic text in the tattoo is in ancient (about 1200 AC) Danish, which resembles today's Icelandic.

Erik's website, Kunsten på Kroppen (The Art on the Body), contains information about his studio in Copenhagen Center along with a list of tattoo resources and frequently asked questions about tattooing. You can also read more on his site about the Viking time poetic cycle Hávamál. You can view the display of this tattoo on Erik's site at the page called Martin's Samoan Trousers.

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