Small black diamond tattoo means?
April 6, 2010 5:52 AM   Subscribe

What is the cultural or religious significance of a small tattoo on the inner, center, of the right wrist? The image is of four black diamonds arranged in a diamond pattern.

The tattoo I saw looked like the upper image here. However, the tattoo was on a toddler at the daycare I use. All the kids in the family have the tattoo but are too young to explain the significance. When asked about it, the oldest child will kiss it but say nothing.

Please note, while it is illegal in the US to tattoo children, I know this did not occur in the US. I don't know the parents and we're on different schedules for dropping off or picking up our children. I'm just curious about the significance. If it helps, the children have fair complexions and dark eyes and hair. They're beautiful, very well tended and (despite what some think about tattoos or tattooing children) obviously loved.
posted by onhazier to Religion & Philosophy (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I believe its a Coptic cross, with which Egyptian Christians are tattooed to distinguish themselves from their overwhelmingly Muslim compatriots. An example:
posted by Splificator at 6:15 AM on April 6, 2010

Link failure. Try
posted by Splificator at 6:17 AM on April 6, 2010

I was going to make the same suggestion, it's probably a Coptic cross. Here's a somewhat judgemental news article, including a video of a child being tattooed, and a blog entry which explains why parents would tattoo their children.
posted by embrangled at 6:28 AM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, Splificator. I think you've given me what I was looking for. The link you provided shows a tattoo that is nearly identical to what I've seen. Since it was on a toddler, it was no bigger than the eraser on a pencil.
posted by onhazier at 6:28 AM on April 6, 2010

Best answer: Here's a better article from the BBC.
posted by embrangled at 6:31 AM on April 6, 2010

Please note, while it is illegal in the US to tattoo children

It's not illegal to tattoo children in the US. Laws vary from state to state--in many states, tattooing minors is legal with parental consent.
posted by box at 11:17 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Tattooing minors is illegal in the majority of states. It looks like 37. There are some states that do allow minors to be tattooed with parental consent. However, most of those still make it illegal if the minor in question is under 16. I see one state where it notes 14. On some of the states, it doesn't say, true. However, we're not talking about a teenager. We're talking about tattooing a 2 year old. I know it varies from state to state. However, I'm pretty comfortable in thinking that most artists, even in unregulated states, may have qualms against tattooing a 2 year old.
posted by onhazier at 12:59 PM on April 6, 2010

In my experience, you are absolutely correct. But aside from stuff related to military people, and an authority to regulate inks that the FDA has never pursued, there are no federal laws related to tattooing.

(I may be mistaken, but I'm guessing this is a bit of a red herring, as I suspect that very few Coptic wrist tattoos are performed by professional tattoo artists.)
posted by box at 1:48 PM on April 6, 2010

« Older Nonsense email hacking?   |   Swoopy-Zoomy Preso Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.