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the blackbeard

Edward Teach or Edward Thatch (c. 1680 – November 22, 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies during the early 1700s.

Teach was most likely born in Bristol, England. Little is known about his early life, but in 1716 he joined the crew of Benjamin Hornigold, a pirate who operated from the Caribbean island of New Providence. He quickly gained his own ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, and from 1717 to 1718 became a notorious and feared pirate. His cognomen was derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies.

After separating from Hornigold, Teach formed an alliance of pirates, and with his cohorts blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina. After successfully ransoming the port’s inhabitants, he ran his ship aground and then accepted a royal pardon. He was soon back at sea however, and attracted the attention of the Governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to find and capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718. During a ferocious battle, Teach was killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

A shrewd and calculating leader, Teach used his fearsome image instead of force to elicit the response he desired from those he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day image of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews, and there are no known accounts of his ever having harmed or murdered those he held captive. He was romanticised after his death, and became the inspiration for a number of pirate-themed works of fiction across a range of genres.

Little is known about Blackbeard’s early life. It is commonly believed that at the time of his death he was between 35 and 40, and thus born in about 1680. In contemporary records his name is most often given as Blackbeard, Edward Thatch, or Edward Teach, and it is the latter which today is most often used, but several spellings of his surname exist—Thatch, Thach, Thache, Thack, Tack, Thatche, and Theach. One early claim was that his surname was Drummond, but the lack of any supporting documentation makes this unlikely. It was the custom of pirates to use fictitious surnames while engaging in the business of piracy, so as not to tarnish the family name, and Teach’s real name will likely never be known.

The 17th-century rise of England’s American colonies and the rapid 18th-century expansion of the Atlantic slave trade had made Bristol an important international sea port, and Teach was most likely raised in what was the second-largest city in England. Teach could almost certainly read and write; he communicated with merchants, and on his death had in his possession a letter addressed to him by the Chief Justice and Secretary of the Province of Carolina, Tobias Knight. The author Robert Lee speculated that Teach may therefore have been born into a respectable, wealthy family. Teach may have arrived in the Caribbean in the last years of the 17th century, on a merchant vessel (possibly a slave ship). The 18th-century author Charles Johnson claimed that Teach was for some time a sailer operating from Jamaica on privateer ships during Queen Anne’s War, and that “he had often distinguished himself for his uncommon boldness and personal courage”. At what point during the war Teach joined the fighting is, like most of his life before he became a pirate, unknown. Blackbeard pirate ship tattoo design in black and gray concept, done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.


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Siamese fighting fish tattoo

The Siamese fighting fish, also known as the betta (particularly in the US), is a popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. The name of the genus is derived from ikan bettah, taken from a local dialect of Malay. The wild ancestors of this fish are native to the rice paddies of Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia and are called pla-kad in Thai or trey krem in Khmer.

The people of Siam (now Thailand) originally started collecting these fish, known as “pla kat,” which means tearing or biting fish, prior to the 19th century.

In the wild, bettas spar for only a few minutes or so before one fish backs off. Bred specifically for fighting, domesticated betta matches can go on for much longer, with winners determined by a willingness to continue fighting. Once one fish retreats, the match is over. Large amounts of money are wagered during these fights, with potential losses as great as a person’s home.

Seeing the popularity of these fights, the King of Siam started licensing and collecting these fighting fish. In 1840, he gave some of his prized fish to a man who, in turn, gave them to Dr. Theodor Cantor, a medical scientist. Nine years later, Dr. Cantor wrote an article describing them under the name Macropodus Pugnax. In 1909, Mr. Tate Regan realized that there was already a species with the name Macropodus Pugnax, and renamed the Siamese fighting fish to Betta splendens.

Siamese fighting fish has upturned mouths and are primarily carnivorous surface feeders, although some vegetable matter may be eaten. In the wild, they feed on zooplankton, crustaceans, the larvae of mosquitoes and other water bound insect larvae. Typically, commercial betta pellets are a combination of mashed shrimp meal, wheat flour, fish meal, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and vitamins. These fish will also eat live or frozen bloodworms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp or daphnia.

Hatching brine shrimp is a popular method used by many in the aquarium hobby to obtain live food for their Betta fish. Brine shrimp are the easiest live fish food to procure, hatch and cultivate and are particularly nutritious when they are in their early stages still attached to their yolk sack. Some aquarium fish are reluctant to accept dried or flake foods therefore live food is occasionally necessary. Siamese fighting fish tattoo design done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

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anniversary gift

A popular nautical tattoo symbol, a Mermaid is a legendary creature thought to be half human, almost always a woman, and half fish. Sailors usually reported seeing mermaids after having spent many months at sea, and probably after having had one too many tots of rum! Mermaids were often portrayed sitting on a rock, combing their long flowing tresses while gazing into a mirror. Mermaids were symbols of potent female energy and the underlying threat was that a sailor would be lured to his death by drowning if he pursued a mermaid. Sirens were similar, in that they were beautiful women-like creatures who with their songs and their beauty would lure sailors and their ships to wreck upon the rocks. Unions between mermaids and the sailors or men they fall in love with, almost always end tragically.

The Mermaid, and to a lesser extent, Merman, is an enduring mythological figure and symbol and has been around for thousands of years in many different cultures. Early mermaid legends can be traced back nearly five thousand years around the Mediterranean. In Greek mythology, mermaid-like creatures make their appearance. The Greeks were a great sea faring people and the Greek Empire, supported in great part by their naval prowess at one time nearly encircled the Mediterranean. The Greeks were obviously aware of and exposed to all the legends and myths surrounding mermaids and siren-like creatures.

In Greek Mythology, Mermaid-like creatures were often the results of unions between Gods and sea creatures, such as Zeus and Poseidon, and they were identified with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, who was born from the sea, and who also symbolized erotic love to the Greeks. Aphrodite was also the Goddess of Fertility, and goddess of fair sailing, along with her companion the sacred dolphin.

Many of the symbols and attributes associated with Aphrodite, were subsequently symbolized in the Roman Goddess Venus, retaining as well in the mermaid myth. In Botticelli’s famous painting, “The Birth of Venus”, the Goddess can be seen rising naked from the sea, her naked body draped only by her luxurious hair. Venus’ mirror, later a symbol of her vanity, originally represented the planet Venus in astrological tradition.

The long flowing hair of the Mermaid (symbolizing an abundant love potential) can also be seen in the representations of the Goddesses Aphrodite and Venus, and their roles as a potent fertility goddesses. The Mermaid’s comb, necessary to keep all that hair in order, carried sexual connotations for the Greeks, as their words for comb, kteis and pecten, also signified the female vulva.

France has the legends of Melusine and Undine, both water-spirits who married noblemen. These mixed marriages in legend almost invariably fail miserably, with the unhappy mermaid ultimately unable to abandon her ocean element.

In Germany on the Rhine River they had their Lorelei or Nix, a beautiful blonde siren who sat on a cliff luring boatmen to their deaths with her songs, in traditional style.

In Norway the ‘havfrau’ portends imminent disaster if sighted sitting on the surface of the water combing her long golden hair with a golden comb.

The Japanese have their mermaids known as Ningyo.

The Tiger is a potent symbol across Asia in many cultures and has long been a fixture in indigenous tattooing in India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Japan. Tigers are associated with power, ferocity, passion and sensuality, beauty and speed, cruelty and wrath. The appearance of a tiger in a dream may signal that new power or passion may awaken within you.

Some Asian cultures have stories about were tigers, people that can change themselves into tigers, much like the werewolves seen in horror movies. According to their legends, the Tibetans and Na-hsi of the Yunnan province in China have descended from tigers. The Na-hsi give tiger figures to boys and girls at their coming-of-age ceremonies and also to newly wed couples.

foreign couple gets a mermaid and tiger tattoo design as an anniversary gift,  done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

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lotus tattoo

God’s favourite flower the lotus has earned such a reputation by appearing front and centre in religious myths around the world. Considered to be perfection in form, the lotus has been associated with many creation myths. With its radiating petals, the lotus connotes the “divine vulva” that gave birth to the gods and goddesses of ancient religions. These deities are often depicted in the company of this pristine flower. It became a sacred symbol for all that is beautiful on earth, and a reflection of divinity, purity and eternity.

The OM symbol is made up of three Sanskrit syllables – ‘aa’, ‘au’, and ‘ma’. First came the sound and from it everything in creation. Believed to be the source of all manifest existence, the sound of OM is the sound of the infinite. Referred to as prana, or the breath of life, OM pervades all of existence. In meditation, the intonation of the sound creates a vibration in tune with the very oscillation of the cosmos. When intoned correctly, harmony and bliss resonate in the body, reaching the centre of one’s being – the atman or soul.

OM is symbolic of many ‘triads’ including earth-atmosphere-heaven, past-present-future; also, birth-life-death, as well as the elements of fire, sun and wind. It is the symbol of the Hindu holy trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva (Creation, Preservation, and Destruction.)

For the devout Hindu, OM is the sound uttered at the beginning of each day, the start of a journey, and going to work. It is placed at the beginning and end of most Hindu texts as a sacred exclamation to be uttered upon commencing and completing. Prayers and mantras are framed by the same intonation. lotus and om design done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.


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alibata lettering

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family symbol tattoo

client gets a family symbol tribal tattoo and a dolphin cover up work done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

Foreigner tribal tattoos

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Canadian based client gets a custom tribal tattoo done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.