The rings of a tree

By Rob • Mar 15th, 2011 • Category: ModBlog

I first saw this photo on Brian’s page a few days ago, so when I saw he had submitted it to his portfolio gallery I made sure to get it up as soon as possible.  Now there is a fantastic story behind this piece, and since Brian explained it so nicely, I’ll let his words explain the bands.

I don’t remember if i posted about this last year, but here is some scar work i did on a young, Native American girl. In her Blackfoot tribe it is customary to have a line scarred around their arm for each year they’re alive. It is known as Ponn Miistis, which literally translates to “the rings of a tree”. When they run out of room on one arm they move to the other, then the legs, but apparently their average life expectancy is only 43.

Anyhow, her parents are more modernized now and didn’t want her having this done while she was growing up. She was intrigued by her grandfather’s rings, which covered his arms and legs, so decided to come to me from Montana to catch up. Last year i worked on her upper arm and finished it up this time. She’s 24 now.

She promises to be back every year for another line, too!’

I think this is one of the most beautiful and personal pieces of scarification work I’ve ever seen. It’s a continual project, so she has much to look forwards to! So much patience ^^.

So cool. I’d love for this to be my arm. Wow.

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