Chin people live in the mountainous area, mainly in Chin State, which borders India and Bangladesh to the west, which makes up about 2% of Myanmar's population. The life of Chin ethnic people mainly follows ancient traditions.
Like many other ethnic groups around the world, the Chin also has its own customs, in which the one that makes visitors feel most interested is probably the custom of tattooing of Chin women. The older people here recall that Chin women were so beautiful that they often caught the eyes of emperors and nobles. In order not to be taken as female servants, the Chin women tattooed their faces to make them ugly. From generation to generation passed on to each other, it has become an indispensable part of the culture of this ethnic group. Even people who do not have tattoos on their face will be considered ugly and will not be able to find a husband, the more tattoos the more beautiful the woman is. From the age of 12 to 13, the Chin women began tattooing their first tattoos on their faces.
These tattoos cover the entire face of the woman, which start from the top of the nose and spread in the form of spider webs. Even the eyelids are tattooed. Tattoos on the face are very painful, many people's faced are swollen all over and they cannot go out. Tattoo needles are made from pine wood, tattoo ink is made from special trees. Tattoo inks are mixed with many other additives so that when the tattoo on the face will not fade over time.
Nowadays, as society grows, This custom is gradually becoming less and less popular. Many Chin people move to other places and young people no longer have their faces tattooed. Today, we can only see this beauty trace on the faces of old women.
This custom lasted from the 11th century and was officially banned by the Burmese government in 1960 because it was considered a barbarous custom and they would punish severely if anyone did not comply. However, somehow this custom was maintained until the 1990s.
In the past, Chin state was separated, isolated from the outside world and not given much attention by the government. Foreign visitors were also restricted, and if you wanted to come here, you would need to ask for confirmation from the local authorities.
So every year, there are only about 700 tourists visiting and the purpose here is to contemplate the last generations of tattooed women in Chin State.