Author Topic: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims  (Read 3177 times)

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Offline CoptoGeek

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Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims

For 700 years the Razzouk family has been tattooing marks of faith. Coptic Christians who settled in Jerusalem four generations ago, the family had learned the craft of tattooing in Egypt, where the devout wear similar inscriptions. Evidence of such tattoos dates back at least as far as the 8th century in Egypt and the 6th century in the Holy Land, where Procopius of Gaza wrote of tattooed Christians bearing designs of crosses and Christ’s name. Early tattoos self-identified indigenous Christians in the Middle East and Egypt. Later, as the faithful came to the Holy Land on pilgrimage, the practice expanded to offer these travelers permanent evidence of their devotion and peregrination.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/inside-the-worlds-only-surviving-tattoo-shop-for-medieval-pilgrims
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 04:52:01 PM »
This is really neat. 
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 05:01:08 PM »
This is really neat.

I thought so too. Here's a pretty cool fact:

"Several of these tattoo stamps, made of olive and cedar wood, remain in the Razzouk family and were used to ink the arms of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, King George V and King Edward VII of England."

http://www.larskrutak.com/the-razzouks-tattooing-for-700-years/
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 06:28:20 PM »
Wow, thank you for sharing.  This will be a definite stop when i make pilgrimage someday.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 07:05:06 PM »
Somewhere here I have the picture of my own Jerusalem Cross (got, however, in Zeitoun)
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Offline Svartzorn

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 08:32:42 PM »
Cool :)
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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 08:33:57 PM »
So "Hi Mom" and an eagle with a flag are out?
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 07:11:17 AM »
Sure, if you want to waste his talent.  I'm sure he'll accept the money anyway.
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Offline Svartzorn

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 08:21:24 AM »
So "Hi Mom" and an eagle with a flag are out?

Ask for a "Hi Theotokos" tattoo. :laugh:
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Offline hecma925

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 01:10:05 PM »
So "Hi Mom" and an eagle with a flag are out?

Ask for a "Hi Theotokos" tattoo. :laugh:
:D
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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 06:06:00 PM »
Thanks for posting - I know someone that may have used their services.

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 06:45:44 PM »
I very much like Fr. John Whiteford; a rare occasion where I found myself disagreeing with him was his implicit criticism of the Coptic and Bosnian Catholic practice of tattoos as a protection of Christian identity in the face of potential forced conversion to Islam.

By the way, recently at St. Anthonys Monastery at the US, an older Copt brought his grandchildren hoping the monks could tell him where they might receive the cross tattoos, but they were unable to assist.  I asked them afterwards if they thought the cross tattoo was still important or warranted in a non-Muslim country like the US, but they did not know.  I found this incident illuminating.

Alas the boys werent that familiar with Coptic church services; they did not know what to do during the Agpeya for instance. A tattoo of a cross will not substitute for parents who are indifferent on the subject of raising their children in the Church, so I try to remember them in my prayers and I would ask you mignt do the same.
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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 10:17:51 PM »
Do they tattoo modern pilgrims too? Or just time travelers
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Offline Aram

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 10:31:36 PM »
This is a custom for Armenian pilgrims to Jerusalem, though most people now go to a conventional tattoo parlor somewhere else in the city. That's how I got my haji (the term for the tattoo). A good portion of the Armenians I know, priests included, have one. Older people have somewhat horrific stories about old women in the Armenian Quarter who would tattoo entire groups with the same rusty needle. I've even heard stories about hajis done with razor blade, with ink rubbed into the wound. Of course, the modern way is preferable... Wish I'd known about these people before I went, though my haji ended up quite good.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2016, 12:11:51 AM »
I very much like Fr. John Whiteford; a rare occasion where I found myself disagreeing with him was his implicit criticism of the Coptic and Bosnian Catholic practice of tattoos as a protection of Christian identity in the face of potential forced conversion to Islam.

By the way, recently at St. Anthonys Monastery at the US, an older Copt brought his grandchildren hoping the monks could tell him where they might receive the cross tattoos, but they were unable to assist.  I asked them afterwards if they thought the cross tattoo was still important or warranted in a non-Muslim country like the US, but they did not know.  I found this incident illuminating.

Alas the boys werent that familiar with Coptic church services; they did not know what to do during the Agpeya for instance. A tattoo of a cross will not substitute for parents who are indifferent on the subject of raising their children in the Church, so I try to remember them in my prayers and I would ask you mignt do the same.

None of this has anything to do with the articles shared by CoptoGeek.
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2016, 11:53:42 AM »
Somewhere here I have the picture of my own Jerusalem Cross (got, however, in Zeitoun)

I haven't yet been to the Holy Land, but it's definitely on my bucket list. Where did you get the tattoo placed? Most Copts with one have it on the right wrist, but it's normally just a simple cross.  I may do that and get a more ornate one on the shoulder. The Jerusalem Cross would be a good idea.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2016, 12:20:28 AM »
Somewhere here I have the picture of my own Jerusalem Cross (got, however, in Zeitoun)

 Most Copts with one have it on the right wrist, but it's normally just a simple cross.

Like this badass:

razzouktattoo.com
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2016, 11:25:00 AM »

Like this badass:

razzouktattoo.com

Yup, older tattoos were right on the wrist but that's too big a liability nowadays.
"Be oppressed, rather than the oppressor. Be gentle, rather than zealous. Lay hold of goodness, rather than justice." -St. Isaac of Nineveh

“I returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church with affection, finding in her our tormented and broken history“. -Salama Moussa

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2016, 09:18:42 PM »
Nice  :)

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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2016, 11:56:30 PM »
Sweet!


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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2016, 12:32:13 AM »

Like this badass:

razzouktattoo.com

Yup, older tattoos were right on the wrist but that's too big a liability nowadays.

Ive seen kids of that age with tatoos on the wrist.
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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2016, 11:37:18 AM »
So what is the Orthodox position on Tattooing in general?
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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2016, 11:42:49 AM »
As far as I can tell, there really isn't one. Some interpret it as a variety of mutilation and an impediment to the priesthood, though.
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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2016, 12:14:55 PM »
So what is the Orthodox position on Tattooing in general?

Believe it or not in the Coptic Church, despite the tradition of right wrist tattooing, it's still controversial for various reasons.  The main one is the idea that our bodies being Temples of God is changed or even "mutilated", and thus shunned upon.  The position is a quick over-reaction to what is seen in the West as over-"decorating" the body with piercings and tattoos, and not the simply faith-preserving and defying action that was done in Egypt on that wrist.  It has also been a reaction even in Egypt to protect folks from going to tattoo and piercing places that do not practice antiseptic techniques and thus cause transmission of diseases like hep C (many of them though unfortunately would cite Old Testament verses for support).

Whatever the case may be, HG Bishop Youssef of the Coptic Southern US Diocese gave the famous quote that we now use to answer this question in our Coptic parishes that rather than asking about tattooing our wrists with the Cross, have we "tattooed" our hearts with it?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 12:17:31 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2016, 12:35:13 PM »
So what is the Orthodox position on Tattooing in general?

Believe it or not in the Coptic Church, despite the tradition of right wrist tattooing, it's still controversial for various reasons.  The main one is the idea that our bodies being Temples of God is changed or even "mutilated", and thus shunned upon.  The position is a quick over-reaction to what is seen in the West as over-"decorating" the body with piercings and tattoos, and not the simply faith-preserving and defying action that was done in Egypt on that wrist.  It has also been a reaction even in Egypt to protect folks from going to tattoo and piercing places that do not practice antiseptic techniques and thus cause transmission of diseases like hep C (many of them though unfortunately would cite Old Testament verses for support).

Whatever the case may be, HG Bishop Youssef of the Coptic Southern US Diocese gave the famous quote that we now use to answer this question in our Coptic parishes that rather than asking about tattooing our wrists with the Cross, have we "tattooed" our hearts with it?

+ 1


Selam
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http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx