Ainu woman with bear cub. The Ainu revere bears, believing their gods can incarnate as bears to watch over them. In early December, a bear cub would be raised among them, fed and loved. Then it would be sacrificed, using special arrows, so that its soul could return to the gods in the heavens with their prayers.

A captive bear drinking from a large sake bottle held by an Ainu tribeswoman, ca. 1955 by Evans/Three Lions

According to the mythology of the Ainu people, tattooing was brought to earth by Okikurumi Turesh Machi, the ancestral mother of the Ainu and sister of the creator god Okikurumi. Ainu girls were given lip tattoos as they grew older, customarily by grandmothers or maternal aunts. Completed lip tattoos served to repel evil spirits from the body, indicate that the woman was ready for marriage, and assure her place among her ancestors in the afterlife.

According to the mythology of the Ainu people, tattooing was brought to earth by Okikurumi Turesh Machi, the ancestral mother of the Ainu and sister of the creator god Okikurumi. Ainu girls were given.

Kaparamip robe. Ainu, Hokkaido. Late 19th  century. Cotton; applique, embroidery.

Kaparamip robe (Ainu) links to Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture.

The Ainu The Ainu are an indigenous people of northern Japan. The remaining descendants live mainly in Hokkaido Sakhalin, the Kurile Islands, and the northeastern part of Honshu Island.Ainu means "Human"

Young Ainu girl( japan) Ainu women tattooed their mouths, and sometimes the forearms. The mouth tattoos were started at a young age with a small spot on the upper lip, gradually increasing with size.

Patterns of The Ainu Race - the indigenous people of Japan

一番の日本人!【Ainu Tribe: Japanese Race】Patterns of The Ainu Tribe: Japanese Race

Japan. The ainu, situated in the northern island of Hokkaido, are similar to the aboriginal people of north America, in that they have tried to keep their own culture and language alive while avoiding assimilation into the greater culture of modern Japan. The Japanese government however, have been trying to enforce assimilation of the ainu, and use prejudice against them both at the state, and at the personal level.

Ainu woman-The Ainu (Japanese: アイヌ?), also called Aynu, Aino (アイノ?), and in historical texts Ezo (蝦夷?), are an indigenous people in Japan (Hokkaido) and Russia (Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands).

Ainu couple. The Ainu language.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_language

Restore rights of Ainu indigenous people, urges Japanese pastor - Journey

Portrait of two Ainu men from the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, ca. 1900 ~Via Madoka W-D-B

Portrait of two Ainu men from the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. About 1900

Ainu people - indigenous people of Hokkaido (northern island of Japan)

My second drawing in the body modification research project. She is, as the image says, from an old Japanese culture called the Ainu. C: Body Mod Project 2 - Ainu

The Ainu are an indigenous people of Japan (Hokkaido, and formerly NE Honshu) and Russia (Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands).

The Ainu are an indigenous people of Japan (Hokkaido, and formerly NE Honshu) and Russia (Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands).

AINU GRANDPARENTS AND THEIR GRAND-DAUGHTER The Original Inhabitants of OLD JAPAN Okanawa Soba writes: I love the wild and free look of the young girl. Grandpa has a sword. The integration of the cultures was inevitable, and the approximate form of the Japanese Kimono has already been adopted. I think that grandpas sword is a big deal. The right to carry a sword was highly restricted to warrior upper classes. How did an Ainu get to have one?

Ainu grandparents & their grandaughter, from a collotype photograph published in Japan Photographer unknown.

An Ainu woman, one of the indigenous people of northern Japan, in traditional garments, 1890s. S)

Ainu woman of old Hokkaido, indigenous people of northern Japan, in traditional garments, ~Via kouji

A woman from the Ainu people. The Ainu are an indigenous group of people who live on the island of Hokkaido in Japan as well as in Russia (Kuril Islands and Sakhalin).

An Ainu woman from northern Japan with tattooed lips. The upper lip is slashed during childhood and ashes are rubbed in to leave a scar. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images).

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