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Bali tattoo and its history remains one of the most fascinating to explore. As one of the most popular tattoo destinations in the world today, Bali has its own history of this body art. One of the most well-known sources of the tattoo art in Indonesia is from Mentawai of West Sumatra. The tribe is one of the most famous ones in Indonesia, and among the reasons is their art of tattooing. It was an indigenous tradition that mark one’s membership as people of Mentawai. However, the tradition of this tribe in Indonesia is an exception rather than a norm. And among this exception, Bali is one of them. 

tattoo in indonesia

Bali tattoo that’s rich in culture & symbolic beliefs 

Cultural traditions of Bali varies and body art or body marking is merely one of them. For many Balinese, even today, tattoos are a symbol of masculinity. This fact is rather apparent as most Balinese that bore tattoos are men. As with everything concerning the Balinese, religious expressions is one of the main purposes of tattooing. 

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Tattoo Bali and religious purposes 

In ancient times, tattoo Bali was worn only by the elites; the religious elites as well as the nobles. Some leaders of Puri wear tattoos, as well as some Balinese priests. Like many cultures across the world, tattoos indicate social status. In Balinese, tattooing was called mencocoh (the act of stabbing). 

Bali tattoo designs with religious value 

Here are some of the most common bali tattoo designs with religious value: 

  • Barong tattoo 
  • Mantra tattoo. Sanskrit scripts 
  • Gods tattoo 
  • Mandala tattoo 
bali tattoo

Those are some of the most iconic designs if you’d like to get best Bali tattoo you could have. In modern times, people in the paradise island no longer associate these designs with status or with religion alone. Instead, it’s enjoyed in its most essential form; as an art. 

Tattoo in Indonesia at large 

The Indonesians are of Muslim majority, and people who bore tattoos are often looked down upon, or expected to be wary of. This is largely a result of a conservative society with a conservative religion at its backbone. However, Indonesia is nothing if not highly diverse. People who look down upon tattoos are mostly those living in Java (the most populated island in Indonesia and the centre of government affair as well) and parts of Sumatra. Things are considerably different for people outside of certain parts of Indonesia. And like many thing about Indonesia, Bali is an exception. 

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This is why in Indonesia, the best place to get a tattoo in Bali. You can find all kinds of tattoo studios in Bali – and most of them adhered to the international standards of tattooing. There are lots of tattoo places it’s difficult to pinpoint which one is the best tattoo shop in Bali – what you need to do is find one that suits you best. Make sure that you don’t settle for the cheap ones and only have professional best tattoo studio in Bali to do your tattoo. 

artist tattoo bali

Foreigners are an exception to this rule 

Foreigners, or rather, white-looking people (and people that looks like tourists and exhibiting behaviors of a tourist, basically) has always been an exception when it comes to perspective in Indonesia. Indonesia has been a tourist destination for decades. The locals would not be surprised or scared when they see tourists walking down the street with a full-body tattoo. Differences in conduct and appearance are expected. However, this would not be the case when it’s a local. 

Bali Tattoo History & Tattoos in Indonesia