World Stamps

Brazilian stamps illustrate tattoo art, fossilized insects and butterflies

Apr 30, 2021, 3 AM

By Denise McCarty 

A souvenir sheet of five stamps issued Nov. 11, 2016, displays the work of Brazilian tattoo artists.

According to a report in the Brazilian newspaper Jornal Agora, the idea for stamps featuring tattoos came from Ademar Goncalves Rios, who participated in a post office program that asked for suggestions for stamp subjects.

In announcing this issue, called Tattoo  Art of Skin, Brazil’s Correios said: “Tattoos have long ceased being mere designs or marks on the human body. Nowadays, they are art on skin and, regardless of fashion, are a way to customize on the human skin, through the universal language of art, what one believes as being his/her essence, feelings, beliefs, ideologies, traditions and even to cover up imperfections.”

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Pictured in the souvenir sheet’s selvage is the hand of tattoo artist Jerson Filho at work. Another tattoo by Filho is shown on the second stamp from the right in the bottom row. Correios reports that this tattoo design is a stylized image of the archangel Michael.

Also illustrated on the bottom row of stamps are tattoo designs by Paulo Tattoo, Ivy Saruzi, and Luiza Fortes. A tribal-style tattoo by Jun Matsu is shown on the single stamp in the top row.

All of the stamps in the sheet are nondenominated, paying the basic domestic first-class rate.

Two other recent issues from Brazil feature insects, both living and fossilized.

The fossilized insects are pictured on a se-tenant pair of nondenominated first-class stamps issued Nov. 21, 2016, to honor the Araripe Geopark. Established in 2006 in the Araripe Basin in northeastern Brazil, this is the first geopark in the Americas that has been recognized by UNESCO.

UNESCO said, “The Araripe Geopark offers a region of invaluable scientific, environmental, historical and cultural importance, whose interpretation reveal the origin and evolution of life and Earth.”

Depicted on the stamp on the left side of the pair is a fossilized dragonfly, and a fossilized moth is shown on the right. Both fossil specimens were discovered in the park.

A set of stamps issued Oct. 21, 2016, pictures 22 of the more than 3,000 species of butterflies in Brazil.

A souvenir sheet that is cut to shape on the left side, following the contours of a butterfly’s wings, contains six se-tenant 1.70-real stamps. The designs represent six families of butterflies: Riodinidae (Aricoris middletoni), Lycaenidae (Evenus gabriela), Pieridae (Melete lycimnia), Nymphalidae (Myscelia orsis), Papilionidae (Parides bunichus), and Hesperiidae (Mimoniades versicolor).

In addition, each stamp includes the emblem of Mercosur, the southern common market of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

A sheet of 16 se-tenant nondenominated first-class stamps shows more species of butterflies.