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National Geographic Photographer Explains Why Tattoos Are Popular Across Cultures

A Maori warrior welcomes the French and Tongan teams onto the field ahead of their Rugby World Cup game at the Wellington Reg
A Maori warrior welcomes the French and Tongan teams onto the field ahead of their Rugby World Cup game at the Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

ASPEN, Colo.—Tattooing, when you think about it, is like smiling: Nearly every culture does it, but not always for the same reason.

In a given society, the motivation for covering oneself in paint, ink, or even scars speaks to what the civilization as a whole holds dear. 

Read more on www.theatlantic.com

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