Pilgrim tattoos have come into fashion: in Santiago de Compostela, the destination of all Ways of St. James, tattoo studios are springing up and in social networks, corresponding photographs can be found more and more often. In this paper we present the results of a survey of pilgrims who have been tattooed after their pilgrimage (N=256). It turns out that certain symbols and body parts are particularly popular among pilgrim tattoos. The tattooing practice of pilgrims also depends strongly on age, nationality and previous tattoos. The central features of the pilgrimage itself, on the other hand, have only a weak influence on the tattooing practice. The increasing popularity of pilgrim tattoos can therefore be seen as a further sign of a general renaissance of tattoos (Rees, 2016). Nevertheless, pilgrim tattoos fulfill an identity-forming function and should be seen in the context of the high biographical relevance of late modern pilgrimages.
Kurrat, Christian and Heiser, Patrick
"“This trip is very meaningful to me, so I want to remember it forever”: Pilgrim Tattoos in Santiago de Compostela,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
5, Article 3.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijrtp/vol8/iss5/3