16 • 17 April 2019
Tattoo In Hainan: The Li people are the largest of the ethnic minorities on Hainan Island. They have a distinctive culture and customs. The current number of Li in Hainan is about 1.14 million.
The Li are thought to have been the first people to have settled in Hainan, originally arriving in the area from the southern provinces of mainland China, particularly Guangxi, approximately 3000 years ago.
Face tattoos are one of the Li’s unique traditional customs. It is a rare original cultural among world’s ethnics. In ancient Li villages, tradition says that a Li woman without tattoos won’t be accepted by her ancestors after death. So at the funeral, the body will be adorned first. According to Li tradition tattooing should observe a certain order: face-back-chest-leg-hand. As a solemn ritual, Li people had to be tattooed on an auspicious day, it was usually a lucky day in autumn.