Tattoos are one of the oldest art forms in the world. Spanning centuries, tattoo culture has played significant functions in human society: to express cultural identity like the proud Maori of New Zealand, social dissociation such as the feared Yakuza of Japan, or simply for artistic expression and enjoyment, or the remembrance of a loved one or special moment.
Despite its centuries-old existence and current resurgence in popular culture, tattoo culture remains somewhat muted in Rwanda, where it is still associated with undesirable elements of society. Despite this, a surprisingly large number of Rwandans are having, or have had a tattoo… just not in public.
The WEEKENDER team spoke – and got a tattoo – by Druvlin, CEO of East Africa Tattoo Tours, and a tattoo artist with over 10 years of experience, to unpack the myth and mystique of tattoos, and shine a light on this burgeoning alternative lifestyle here in Rwanda.