The Oldest Tattooing Family in the World

The Oldest Tattooing Family in the World


(upbeat music) – [Wasim] Pilgrims come
from all over the world to get tattooed in the Holy
Land from the old stamps. Some of those stamps are
older than the United States, and they were passed down in my family from one generation to another. I am Wasim Razzouk, and
I am the 27th generation of the oldest tattooing
family in the world. (upbeat music) – [Announcer] This Great Big Story is inspired by Genesis. – The cross tattoo on the
wrist is the ultimate proof of pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They are now reborn Christians; they are proud of their
journey that they have done. When they understand the
history and our lineage, they wanna be tattooed by us. I learned tattooing from my father, who learned it from his father. My son is the 28th generation. My family were doing tattoos in Egypt just like mine here, a small,
little cross on the wrist. When they came to the
Holy Land, 500 years ago, they discovered a
tradition where Christians would get a tattoo as a
mark of the pilgrimage. So my family decided to stay here and continue this tradition. Your stamp is 500 years old, guaranteed. – All right, okay. – Okay. Among the tools that we have in the family that has been passed down are
beautiful, old, wooden stamps that are hundreds of years old. And those stamps are very
simple, just outlined designs, but very intricate, and very charming, and that’s why a lot of people like them. We get people from all
over the world who come to get a tattoo out of a old, wooden stamp that has touched so many pilgrims who have done the same
journey that they are doing; so they are becoming part of this history, part of this tradition,
and part of this heritage. What we’re doing here is
not a cosmetic tattoo; it’s a tattoo that has
way more deeper meaning than the superficial skin. They’re actually reflecting
what they have felt when they came to the Holy Land, and now they want to
reflect that on their skin. It’s almost like baptism; it’s almost like baptizing somebody, and that’s a big responsibility. At the same time it’s greatly satisfying to feel that you are that special person, that they want you to tattoo them. It’s for the tradition;
it’s for that special thing in their life that has happened to them that they want to be marked by you. (light music)

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