Lifestyle, Beauty

Significance of tattoos in Nigeria, pricing, how to get it

Significance of tattoos in Nigeria, pricing, how to get it 1

A tattoo is one of the trendy fashion components in the world today. It is becoming a generally accepted artistic design by different cultural backgrounds across the globe. Also, the acceptability of tattoos cannot be separated from how celebrities embrace tattooing and how they confidently show them off. Lately, it is becoming so hard to see any celebrities and regular persons without having tattoos flaunted on their bodies. More so, the evolution of tattoos in Nigeria is worth saying a lot about.

There are no restrictions on how far one can go to beautify oneself. Seeing these wonderfully crafted images drawn on people’s skins, you have to be in awe of how modernized tattooing has become in the world.

Tattoo and its origin

A tattoo is a distinctive form of body beautification or fashioning that entails fixing figures, marks, or designs under the skin with dye or ink to make the pigment permanent or temporary. Tattoos, as mentioned, can either be permanent or temporary: the permanent tattoo is inserted directly under the skin to give an indelible appearance, while the temporary can only be drawn on skin to last for either weeks or months. Meanwhile, there is another kind of tattoo that involves intentional cutting or burning of the skin. Sometimes it could be in the form of skin abrading to form a scar tissue tattoo. 

Tattoos are classified into three categories in terms of their makeup and how significant their meanings are. And there are many stances on Tattoos based on cultural, societal and religious beliefs. With diverse positions on what tattoos stand for, it is entirely plausible to highlight the categories of the epiphany of tattoos. 

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The decorative tattoo

This is the first category of tattoos. It can be put on one’s body plainly for decorative purpose. This tattoo category is becoming the most common phenomenon in the world in this dispensation. Most of the wearers of these skin adornments are just interested in beautifying their skins by having a good design carved on their skin. Indubitably, this action has a more significant trend among celebrities who do not want to be under the shackles of some moral dictations on what their fashion sense should be. Also, some of the celebrity’s fans can choose to look beautiful like their supposed impressive celebrities. 

Pictorial tattoos

This type is drawn on the skin to indicate the depiction or representation of some specific things or items. Pictorial tattoos can define some tattoos carved on the skins showing the picture of humans. This category of tattoos is the one that was so common in the olden days, whereby they could decide to put a picture of a family lineage on people for remembrance. Also, this kind of tattoo is regular among people who are sentimental about their belongings, and they want to be connected with them every time. For instance, a father can decide to put his children’s picture on his body in the form of a tattoo. Such actions can be viewed as acts of love and possession.

The symbolic tattoos

These are the kinds of tattoos that are very significant in meaning to whoever wears them. These tattoos cannot be worn by a regular person unless there is a pertinent connection between what the tattoos stand for and the wear. For instance, some of these tattoos can be linked with different organisations or groups, they may also have a certain illustration of the wearer’s position. These kinds of tattoos, in several cases, are identity markers and are largely recognised and respected by those who understand what their significance symbolises.

History of Tattoos 

There are many memory lanes to trace if we want to talk about the history of tattoos. The history of tattoos in the world seems to be far-fetched because there is no specific date that can be attached to the beginning of tattoos in the world. Regardless of how vague the historic reference could be, there is general acceptability to the fact that tattooing has been in existence since around the 4th millennium BC. Some historians believe that the first tattoos were discovered on mummies (preserved dead bodies) in ancient Egypt. Also, ethnographic research findings indicate that tattoos have been in existence across all human cultures since their inception. For instance, the ancient Greeks were said to use tattoos as a means of spying and subtle communications in the 5th Century. 

The ancient Romans used tattoos to mark their slaves and criminals. In furtherance, some cultures started adopting them as symbols of religious and cultural heritage.

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Tattoos in Nigeria 

Just like in other countries in the world, Tattoos are not strange in Nigerian cultures. The concept of tattoos can be traced and related to the tribal marks in the country. For instance, the existence of tribal marks (especially in the southwestern and northern parts) cannot be entirely separated from the idea of tattoos. In those days, tribal marks are seen as signs of beauty and affluence. So, tribal tattoos cannot be undermined as far as modern tattoos are concerned. 

However, having tattoos in Nigeria in this dispensation has been twisted to mean something different. Due to religious viewpoints, many Nigerians now frown at having tattoos, as they see any wearers as irresponsible and untrustworthy. Also, having tattoos in Nigeria is now misconceived even by law enforcement agencies. There is a high chance to be profiled as an automatic lawbreaker, scum or a criminal once you have inked your skin, regardless of what your category of tattoos is. 

Despite the societal myopic beliefs about tattoos in Nigeria, some people are determined to break the status quo. Young people in Nigeria are now defying the conventional misconceptions about tattoos by going ahead to ink their skins for body beautification. 

Many people are beginning to appreciate the drawing of tattoos, and that has increased its commercialisation. 

Tattoo price in Nigeria

The price of getting tattoos in Nigeria is relative. It depends on the kind of tattoo you want to get on your body and where you want it drawn. But then, the average price of getting a tattoo in Nigeria is between N20,000 and N100,000. 

Some Nigerian tattoos and their meanings

As mentioned earlier, some tattoos are there with meanings while others have some without meanings. 

Here are a few tattoos in Nigeria with their meanings. 


Rose tattoos are common in Nigeria because of their appearance as beautiful flowers. They are common on women.

Name carrying tattoos

In Nigeria, there are traditional names carrying tattoos. That is you can decide to inscribe your name or someone’s name on your skin 

Religious emblem

Many people are now attaching their religious identity to their skin. For instance, drawing a cross on the skin (even though Christianity seems to frown at it.)

Cultural costume

Some cultural costumes are used as tattoos. These costumes include the drumming of talking drums on the skin, the mwo from the Igbo descent etc.

The national heritage

The Nigeria pictures are pretty fascinating and historic, most especially the country’s national heritage picture. Many lovers of tattoos have chosen to get designed with the coat of arms, the flag and military emblem as tattoos.

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