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For thousands of years, people have adorned their bodies with tattoos that carried specific cultural or societal values. The same practice existed among Croatian people from when the first Illyrian tribes settled in Dalmatia, along the Adriatic coast, and spread further inland, to today’s Bosnia and Hercegovina. In those parts of the world tattooing was called “sicanje” ili “bocanje” and was predominantly used during Turkish occupation (1463-1878) to protect women and children from the Turks. Hands and fingers were tattooed most often, but also breasts and foreheads and the most common motifs were those of the cross, crown, fir, ear of corn and dots in various shapes and forms.

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