And this tattooing had been the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island, who, by those hieroglyphic marks, had written out on his body a complete theory of the heavens and the earth, and a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but whose mysteries not even himself could read, though his own live heart beat against them; and these mysteries were therefore destined in the end to moulder away with the living parchment whereon they were inscribed, and so be unsolved to the last.
Raised cicatrices usually take the place of tattooing with the darker races.
Yet again the Andamanese can be grouped according to certain salient characteristics: the forms of the bows and arrows, of the canoes, of ornaments and utensils, of tattooing and of language.
Comparatively, tattooing is not the hideous custom which it is called.
The upper class are the keepers of traditions, boat-builders, leaders of expeditions; tattooing is generally done by them, the amount increasing with a man's rank; the custom here still has definite religious associations.
Lao tattooing is of a most elaborate kind.
Many spare hours he spent, in carving the lid with all manner of grotesque figures and drawings; and it seemed that hereby he was striving, in his rude way, to copy parts of the twisted tattooing on his body.
The parted mouth of Tashtego revealed his shark-white teeth, which strangely gleamed as if they too had been tipped by corpusants; while lit up by the preternatural light, Queequeg's tattooing burned like Satanic blue flames on his body.