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From the Publisher"Tattooings are not only ornaments... they are not only emblems of nobility and symbols of rank in the social hierarchy; they are also messages fraught with spiritual and moral significance... not only to imprint a drawing onto the flesh but also to stamp onto the mind all the traditions and philosophy of the group."
- Claude Levi-Strauss
"And this tattooing has been the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island, who, by those hieroglyphic marks, had written out on his body a complete theory of the heavens and the Earth, and a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but those mysteries not even himself could read, though his own live heart beat against them."
- Herman Melville