wampum

Wampum by ABMann

[gallery]

Wampum

The first three bands of my wampum sleeve are completed (except for a little touch up as some of the colors are uneven). I am really pleased with it over all.

Begin Background info I’ve posted before about what each of these bands mean to me so I’ll not rehash that. Links below.

  • A wolf by any other name: http://abmann.net/post/77454485627/a-wolf-by-any-other-name-on-flickr-via-flickr-a
  • Two bears. http://abmann.net/post/73373271455/two-bears-a-name-given-to-me-during-a-journey
  • Dark year. http://abmann.net/post/73743783799/the-dark-year-somewhere-in-my-sophomore-year-in

    The concept for the tattoo comes from the Native American tribe usage of Wampum. English colonialists though wampum was currency in that tribes seemed to exchange them tribes had some sort of exchange of goods or services - horses, war pacts, marriages. That is sort of true though. Tribes used them as historic markers of events or of contracts between tribes. The former produced a codified history with a story recited at special events while the bands or belts were passed around. The latter served as reminders if obligations with other tribes, war pacts, trade alliances, and similar similarly retold at events so all would know these commitments.

    I was raised in a semi-native spiritual tradition and greatly identify with this idea. I have been wearing a wampum bead around my neck for 20 years (straight). And, as an avid journal and writer, love the idea of a permanent chronicling on my life.

    Thus: wampum inspired tattoos.
    End Background

    It’s been an interesting project since it’s inception. My first tattoo, something I thought about on and off for a decade went from Idea to Tattoo in about a month. These three bands went from Idea to Tattoo in 7 months. It was more like Idea, Outline, Design, What The Crap Is That, Redesign, What Am I Thinking, Redesign, etc.

    The hardest part has been identifying events that I both care about in my life and can translate into interesting tattoos. I think I have most of them identified, things like, getting screwed by Beloit chemistry professors, starting my job, buying a house, meeting @Lady_Fox, and the like. I don’t have any but that first one designed, and am unsure about most if the rest.

    I do know I’m not going to limit myself to colors wampum beads had, especially white. We did the white parts as us colored except for the window on the third bands, I’m kind of meh about that. I think I’m going two unfilled parts on the second band, too, with blue because it looks unfinished. I was trying to be too literal with the implementation of the band/bracelet idea and should treat the tattoo like it is: a tattoo.

    Over all, I’m pleased with it. So pleased with it.

    I think my favorite part of this is the redesign that my tattoo artist did - Marc Nelson (http://www.marcnelsontattoos.com) at Colt’s Timeless Tattoos - for the two bears band. I had used the traditional Zuni bear images, the one with the lightning symbol you see above, but was dissatisfied with it for reasons I couldn’t identify. I asked him to try something and his change to a realistic bear image without the lightning makes so much sense. It is simpler and more recognizable.

    Simplicity in design is so important to me, a certain level of recognizability in the images to outside viewers is nice - it becomes a more relatable piece of art. Figuring out a way to make each band cohere better will be an interesting challenge and I’m vaguely considering designing larger images or motifs into the bands such that they make a larger whole beyond the individual bands. I’m not sure that is practical and, as I write that, it seems like that contradicts my desire for simpler concepts and design.

    Suffice that I’ve only started this journey. I see it now and though I know it to incomplete, I know where I’m going. I’ll take it slow, one band at a time, and build something beautiful.

  • The Dark Year by ABMann

    [gallery]

    Somewhere in my Sophomore year in high school, a started falling into a deep depression. I didn’t sleep much, ate terribky and generally didn’t understand what has happening with me, he world and the interaction thereof.

    It started, as all dark high school stories, with a girl who I was crushing on in a mad and unhealthy way. She was smart and nerdy and broken and similarly didn’t understand what she was and what she meant to the world. On alternating days she would lament that her boyfriends were terrible and they should be more like me and then demand I stop talking to herald they take her to lunch.

    I didn’t know what to make of it. My mind latched onto two things like alligator jaws:
    - I was nicer to her than many
    - I wasn’t good enough firer

    I’m not the sort of person to consider anything in the worlds is wrong for acts of other people - I am the maintainer if my own reality, ill moments or otherwise. The dichotomy that I was both better than but not good enough beyond a ride to the diner was debilitating. These thoughts would circle and circle and circle in a dervish a self-mutilation. If this person, whom I was so blinded by as to believe she was Perfect, thought this about me I clearly wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone

    It sucked. And then I cried a lot. And then I stopped feeling anything.

    I hit the nadir around my birthday the summer between my Junior and Senior year. I stopped eating and became vaguely emaciated - I was still overweight but hollow around my face. I spent most days blindly playing frisbee golf and the nights watching weird Tv on IFC and not much else. I literally played frisbee golf every day for hours not thinking, not feeling. Disc automaton.

    I remember the day I finally broke out of it. It’s the dumbest things that do it. I was sleepless, again, one night and caught the last half of The City of Lost Children starting where Miette us crying and her tears destroy half the city. I remember being spell bound by the visuals, identifying with her pain and the destructing *need* to affect something in the world. I tore my room apart. I tore off my clothes. I thrashed and cried and stopped when I caught myself in the mirror.

    I realized how hollow I looked, realized I couldn’t remember the last time I are. I sat in front of the mirror for a few minutes before I fell asleep. The next day, I was with my friends watching movies in a basement. At so,e point the conversation turned to weightless when. My best friend at the time turned to me and gruffly said this to me,

    "I’m unhappy because I’m no longer the skinnier one in the group. Now I’m fat because you lost all this weight this summer."

    The room went quiet. I was shocked. I think everyone else was too.

    I got up. “It’s because I’ve been too depressed to eat and you guys haven’t cared.” And left.

    You’re told about toxic people, that people manipulate you in sometimes subtle and sometimes overt ways. I learned then some if the shitty reasons my friends kept me around and realized the little ways they tore me down when I did something well. Like if I threw the disc farther, got a better grade on a test, got praise for something, they were never happy. They just complained that I made them look bad.

    I essentially cut ties with them the next year. It was tough because we had so many classes together but I would bolster myself the little positive things I found during the days. And, inch by inch, I found some self worth and rebuilt myself.

    I don’t want to say that my mood issues were entirely their fault - they absolutely weren’t. I didn’t help myself by acting out in inappropriate ways with them or being the domineering ass in theater (I was lead light tech fir 3 years, the first sophomore to get the job). I used them fir rides before I had my license and didn’t support their successes.

    And with the girl, I was pretty terrible. I feel squarely into the “nice guy” camp (I… Even had a fedora…) in that I did all these things for her hoping (not expecting, let me assure[i never had enough self confidence to believe I deserved ANYTHING]) she’d fall for me. That was terrible for both of us - I made her uncomfortable with all the misplaced affection and ignored social queues and she took advantage of me knowing I’d bend over backwards for her.

    There were a lot if good things that year too, of course. I discovered chemistry. I was the student tech director for two plays. I got into Beloit (oddly because of the girl). And the like.

    It was a shitty two years but they make me who I am today.

    And they totally ruined me for blondes.

    A fun side note to lighten this kind of heavy entry:
    All that disc golf built up my arm strength to inhuman but wildly specific abilities. The first day we played softball, I hit three home runs and caught two fly balls (one handed), something I’d never, ever done before.

    by Will Ringland

    The Dark Year The Dark Year 

 Somewhere in my Sophomore year in high school, a started falling into a deep depression.   I didn’t sleep much, ate terribky and generally didn’t understand what has happening with me, he world and the interaction thereof. 

 It started, as all dark high school stories, with a girl who I was crushing on in a mad and unhealthy way.  She was smart and nerdy and broken and similarly didn’t understand what she was and what she meant to the world.  On alternating days she would lament that her boyfriends were terrible and they should be more like me and then demand I stop talking to herald they take her to lunch. 

 I didn’t know what to make of it.  My mind latched onto two things like alligator jaws: 
- I was nicer to her than many 
- I wasn’t good enough firer 

 I’m not the sort of person to consider anything in the worlds is wrong for acts of other people - I am the maintainer if my own reality, ill moments or otherwise.  The dichotomy that I was both better than but not good enough beyond a ride to the diner was debilitating.  These thoughts would circle and circle and circle in a dervish a self-mutilation.  If this person, whom I was so blinded by as to believe she was Perfect, thought this about me I clearly wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone 

 It sucked. And then I cried a lot. And then I stopped feeling anything. 

 I hit the nadir around my birthday the summer between my Junior and Senior year.  I stopped eating and became vaguely emaciated - I was still overweight but hollow around my face.  I spent most days blindly playing frisbee golf and the nights watching weird Tv on IFC and not much else.  I literally played frisbee golf every day for hours not thinking, not feeling. Disc automaton. 

 I remember the day I finally broke out of it.  It’s the dumbest things that do it.  I was sleepless, again,  one night and caught the last half of The City of Lost Children starting where Miette us crying and her tears destroy half the city.  I remember being spell bound by the visuals, identifying with her pain and the destructing *need* to affect something in the world.  I tore my room apart. I tore off my clothes.  I thrashed and cried and stopped when I caught myself in the mirror. 

 I realized how hollow I looked, realized I couldn’t remember the last time I are.  I sat in front of the mirror for a few minutes before I fell asleep.  The next day, I was with my friends watching movies in a basement.  At so,e point the conversation turned to weightless when. My best friend at the time turned to me and gruffly said this to me, 

 "I’m unhappy because I’m no longer the skinnier one in the group. Now I’m fat because you lost all this weight this summer." 

 The room went quiet.  I was shocked. I think everyone else was too. 

 I got up. “It’s because I’ve been too depressed to eat and you guys haven’t cared.” And left. 

 You’re told about toxic people, that people manipulate you in sometimes subtle and sometimes overt ways.  I learned then some if the shitty reasons my friends kept me around and realized the little ways they tore me down when I did something well. Like if I threw the disc farther, got a better grade on a test, got praise for something, they were never happy.  They just complained that I made them look bad. 

 I essentially cut ties with them the next year.  It was tough because we had so many classes together but I would bolster myself the little positive things I found during the days.  And, inch by inch, I found some self worth and rebuilt myself. 

 I don’t want to say that my mood issues were entirely their fault - they absolutely weren’t.  I didn’t help myself by acting out in inappropriate ways with them or being the domineering ass in theater (I was lead light tech fir 3 years, the first sophomore to get the job). I used them fir rides before I had my license and didn’t support their successes. 

 And with the girl, I was pretty terrible.  I feel squarely into the “nice guy” camp (I… Even had a fedora…) in that I did all these things for her hoping (not expecting, let me assure[i never had enough self confidence to believe I deserved ANYTHING]) she’d fall for me. That was terrible for both of us - I made her uncomfortable with all the misplaced affection and ignored social queues and she took advantage of me knowing I’d bend over backwards for her. 

 There were a lot if good things that year too, of course.  I discovered chemistry. I was the student tech director for two plays. I got into Beloit (oddly because of the girl). And the like. 

 It was a shitty two years but they make me who I am today. 

 And they totally ruined me for blondes. 

 A fun side note to lighten this kind of heavy entry: 
All that disc golf built up my arm strength to inhuman but wildly specific abilities.  The first day we played softball, I hit three home runs and caught two fly balls (one handed), something I’d never, ever done before.

    The Dark Year The Dark Year

    Somewhere in my Sophomore year in high school, a started falling into a deep depression. I didn’t sleep much, ate terribky and generally didn’t understand what has happening with me, he world and the interaction thereof.

    It started, as all dark high school stories, with a girl who I was crushing on in a mad and unhealthy way. She was smart and nerdy and broken and similarly didn’t understand what she was and what she meant to the world. On alternating days she would lament that her boyfriends were terrible and they should be more like me and then demand I stop talking to herald they take her to lunch.

    I didn’t know what to make of it. My mind latched onto two things like alligator jaws:
    - I was nicer to her than many
    - I wasn’t good enough firer

    I’m not the sort of person to consider anything in the worlds is wrong for acts of other people - I am the maintainer if my own reality, ill moments or otherwise. The dichotomy that I was both better than but not good enough beyond a ride to the diner was debilitating. These thoughts would circle and circle and circle in a dervish a self-mutilation. If this person, whom I was so blinded by as to believe she was Perfect, thought this about me I clearly wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone

    It sucked. And then I cried a lot. And then I stopped feeling anything.

    I hit the nadir around my birthday the summer between my Junior and Senior year. I stopped eating and became vaguely emaciated - I was still overweight but hollow around my face. I spent most days blindly playing frisbee golf and the nights watching weird Tv on IFC and not much else. I literally played frisbee golf every day for hours not thinking, not feeling. Disc automaton.

    I remember the day I finally broke out of it. It’s the dumbest things that do it. I was sleepless, again, one night and caught the last half of The City of Lost Children starting where Miette us crying and her tears destroy half the city. I remember being spell bound by the visuals, identifying with her pain and the destructing *need* to affect something in the world. I tore my room apart. I tore off my clothes. I thrashed and cried and stopped when I caught myself in the mirror.

    I realized how hollow I looked, realized I couldn’t remember the last time I are. I sat in front of the mirror for a few minutes before I fell asleep. The next day, I was with my friends watching movies in a basement. At so,e point the conversation turned to weightless when. My best friend at the time turned to me and gruffly said this to me,

    "I’m unhappy because I’m no longer the skinnier one in the group. Now I’m fat because you lost all this weight this summer."

    The room went quiet. I was shocked. I think everyone else was too.

    I got up. “It’s because I’ve been too depressed to eat and you guys haven’t cared.” And left.

    You’re told about toxic people, that people manipulate you in sometimes subtle and sometimes overt ways. I learned then some if the shitty reasons my friends kept me around and realized the little ways they tore me down when I did something well. Like if I threw the disc farther, got a better grade on a test, got praise for something, they were never happy. They just complained that I made them look bad.

    I essentially cut ties with them the next year. It was tough because we had so many classes together but I would bolster myself the little positive things I found during the days. And, inch by inch, I found some self worth and rebuilt myself.

    I don’t want to say that my mood issues were entirely their fault - they absolutely weren’t. I didn’t help myself by acting out in inappropriate ways with them or being the domineering ass in theater (I was lead light tech fir 3 years, the first sophomore to get the job). I used them fir rides before I had my license and didn’t support their successes.

    And with the girl, I was pretty terrible. I feel squarely into the “nice guy” camp (I… Even had a fedora…) in that I did all these things for her hoping (not expecting, let me assure[i never had enough self confidence to believe I deserved ANYTHING]) she’d fall for me. That was terrible for both of us - I made her uncomfortable with all the misplaced affection and ignored social queues and she took advantage of me knowing I’d bend over backwards for her.

    There were a lot if good things that year too, of course. I discovered chemistry. I was the student tech director for two plays. I got into Beloit (oddly because of the girl). And the like.

    It was a shitty two years but they make me who I am today.

    And they totally ruined me for blondes.

    A fun side note to lighten this kind of heavy entry:
    All that disc golf built up my arm strength to inhuman but wildly specific abilities. The first day we played softball, I hit three home runs and caught two fly balls (one handed), something I’d never, ever done before.