Tattoo supply company owner, student has big plans for future

By Rene Thompson, Editor in Chief  | Photos by Rene Thompson, and courtesy of Daniel Gonzales


Photo courtesy of Daniel Gonzales Daniel Gonzales with his band Blinddryve.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Gonzales
Daniel Gonzales with his band Blinddryve.

Psychology major and tattoo supply company owner of “Boneyard Ink,” Daniel Gonzales said he has a very specific philosophy when it comes to helping heal people and wants to enact that into his ultimate goal, which is to make or be a part of a special kind of substance abuse treat­ment center, he said.

Gonzales said that he hopes to support people through helping them gain some spirituality, as well as through proper diet, exercise, education and getting people back their roots.

“I have a culinary degree and I was a cook in Seattle, so I feel like good food is an important part of our healing process too, and when people are trying to detox off drugs or things like that, they are eating food that have a lot of chemicals, and I would like to get into a treatment center that is based around having organic farm to table foods, because I think connecting with the earth is important too. It’s kind of like getting back to our roots,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales not only goes to school full time and still runs his tattoo supply business, but has also played bass for the last eight years in a local Metal band called Blinddryve, and has five children, he said.

“I have five kids, two are in soccer, the other is in voice and acting classes, then I have the two little ones, and this semester I’m taking five classes, so it’s a lot of work, but I’ve always wanted to help people,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said he had his own problems with substance abuse in his past and said he has learned so much since then that he wants to help others on their roads to recovery and a better wellbeing.

“I feel like I have some positive stuff to offer, I have life experience in that field and I want to go into counseling or therapy,” he said.

Gonzales said that his pas­sion for helping people comes from his sister, who has a con­dition called Rett Syndrome and has the brain capacity of an 18 year-old baby, so she has stayed at ARCA who provides services for individuals with developmental disabilities for the past 20 years, and where Gonzales and his family go to see her regularly.

Gonzales said his sister inspires and helps him to stay motivated to succeed in his goal of helping others.

“The doctors said people with her condition usually don’t live past 30 and she’s 46 now, so she’s one of the oldest living people with her condi­tion,” he said.

Gonzales said he opened his tattoo supply business in 2008 while working in the shipping department at The Zone, where they began to get art­ists who needed supplies.

Gonzales said artists would wonder why there was not a local source at the time that delivered supplies, because there was and still is a major demand, since Albuquerque has an abun­dance of shops and artists.

“I could see that there was a demand for it (tattoo supplies), because art­ists would say ‘it would be nice if there was someone who was local who could deliver supplies and then we wouldn’t have to get supplies online,’ so I’ve officially had the business for six years now,” he said.

His band Blinddryve, in their eight years, has played the Journal Pavilion, the South by Southwest Show, and has opened for Sevendust and Lucuna Coil, he said.

“I would say it’s definitely metal; it’s cross between Iron Maiden, Pantera, and maybe Kill-Switch Engage, and a touch of Queensryche,” he said.

For more information on Blinddryve shows go to blind­ or holdmyticket. com for advance show tickets.

G o n z a l e s said he really wants to go to Highlands University at the school of social work, because they have such a great program.

He said they also have a jump starter pro­gram that helps students get a Master’s degree in three years.

He also hopes to make a pro­gram that not only instills his philoso­phy but also sets up people with proper work skills to be able to succeed beyond treatment, to less likely keep repeating the cycle of being a multiple drug offender.

“I think that people who use are just sick, and some­times they were never taught that stuff, a lot of time people want to judge others, but some­times these people were never taught to take care of them­selves, or how to find to their own paths, and maybe they can get skills or certifications to have a better chance at being sober when they have a leg up. It could be 10 or 20 years from now, but my goal is to really help people beyond their immediate treatments and help to give them the skills to have a better life,” he said.

The colorful history of body modification

By Carol Woodland, Staff Reporter | Photo Courtesy of

The recent discovery of this skull from Mexico lead many to question what made so many cultures to preform head binding in children.
The recent discovery of this skull from Mexico lead
many to question what made so many cultures to
preform head binding in children.

Body modification today is more popular than ever, and according to a Pew Research Poll in 2010, 23 percent of Americans have a tattoo.

Sarah Egelman, pro­fessor of Religious Studies, explained that tattoos go all the way back to the Iceman, with a 5,200 year old mummy found with tattoos of dots and small x’s on his knee.

“People think of it as sort of this new trend or whatever, but it’s a really, really, really ancient tradition. In fact, the oldest preserved human, the Iceman, was tattooed,” Egelman said.

She said it is thought that tattoos may have been applied to alleviate pain, as archaeo­logical records showed age related degeneration on the bones of the Iceman’s knee.

Egelman said tattoos were popular in ancient Egypt, but for the Egyptians, tattoos were only worn by women and likely served as protec­tion during pregnancy and childbirth.

According to “Tattoos, the Ancient and Mysterious History” at smithstonian. com, Egyptian tattoos were made up of a geometric pat­tern of dots and lines possibly intended to mimic a beaded net, that were applied to the abdomen and thighs of women, and were found on mummies as well.

Tattoos have been per­formed in ancient China, Japan, Peru, Chile, Europe, North America and North Africa, and tattoos have even been found on mummies in Greenland and Siberia, and while differ­ent cultures had their own methods and purposes for tat­tooing, they all likely involved a slow and painful procedure, according to the smithstonian. com article.

Egelman said across the Mediterranean tattooing was also practiced by Romans.

“I do know that some Romans tattooed them­selves religiously as sort of a protection, kind of like amulets,” she said.

After the Roman Empire’s conversion to Christianity, tattoos remained popular despite a biblical law prohibiting any sort of mark­ing upon the body, and that biblical law against tattoos comes from Leviticus, a part of the Bible, which contains laws about dietary restric­tions and even garment mate­rial restrictions, which most Christians no longer follow, Egelman said.

“Christianity really took off in other parts of the Mediterranean world where tattooing was more accept­able and that prohibition doesn’t stand,” Egelman said.

While Judaism and Islam did follow the biblical prohibi­tion, Egelman said that within some sects of Islam there is a history, of temporary henna tattooing for weddings or other celebrations, which is found in other cultures around the world as well.

“I think it’s been more popular around the world for cultural and religious reasons, and medical rea­sons in ancient history than people recognize,” Egelman said.

Margo DeMello, Professor of Anthropology said the simplest way to make a tattoo by hand was to use a sharpened thorn, bone, stick or rock dipped into pigment and poked into the skin.

“Another method is to cut the skin with a sharpened implement and then rub the pigment into the wound,” DeMello said.

In Polynesian culture, their method is to use a carved comb made of shell and dipped in ink, then pounded into the skin using a mallet, she said.

“In Japan, tattoos were (and are) made with a long bamboo device with needles attached to the end; the nee­dles are pushed into the body. In the Arctic, the people there literally sew tattoos into the skin using a needle and thread dipped in ink,” DeMello said.

According to japandaily­ tattoos were used as punishment during the Edo period from the 1600s to 1800s, and are still taboo because people with even minor tattoos are discrimi­nated against and turned away from some businesses in Japan.

She said today’s tattoos are done in a much more ster­ile and safe environment than before, although some tradi­tional techniques are still used.

DeMello said one type of tattooing called “Yantra” which is done by hand in Southeast Asia, remains ever popular despite being a very painful process.

Yantra tattoos are said to be able to protect the wearer from evil and danger because of the mixture of ingredients in the ink and that the monks who apply the tattoos say a special prayer, she said.

“I don’t know what the people in Southeast Asia think of western tattooing, but I do know that lots of people there wear western tattoos,” DeMello said.

DeMello has been studying and writing about tattooing for many years and published a book called “Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Tattoo Community” in 2000.

“Tattooing has become main-stream in the United States since 2000. It was already well on the rise when my book was published, and it continues to get more and more normative in this cul­ture,” DeMello said.

One reason DeMello thinks tattoos are so popular in Albuquerque is because of a link to ancient Rome through Albuquerque’s large Latino population.

“In addition, tattoo­ing has a very, very long history in Christianity. It goes back to the very early Christians who lived in ancient Rome, and who wore tattoos to show their Christian faith. So a lot of Latinos wear Christian tattoos in particular to demonstrate their faith,” DeMello said.

For young people, get­ting a tattoo could be con­sidered a rite of passage, DeMello said.

“In traditional cultures around the world that is how it has commonly been—one receives one’s first tattoo upon reaching sexual maturity or adulthood in many cultures, and in some cultures, without a tattoo you are not marriage­able,” DeMello said.

Jessica Craig, Professor of Anthropology said the Ancient Mayans widely prac­ticed body modification.

She said they used a pro­cess of shaping the head of their babies called “artificial cranial deformation,” or head binding which started not long after birth.

“We suspect that the Maya would do this by tightly binding babies/toddlers to cradle boards. Interestingly, while it was more common among the upper classes, we do see evidence for the prac­tice among the lower classes as well,” Craig said.

She went on to explain that while different classes of people had their heads shaped, the shape itself was based on social class, which would create an easily visible social identification of which class someone belonged.

Donna Rosh, Professor of Anthropology said that cranial deformation was also practiced by some Southeastern and Northwest American tribes and the desired result was to produce a slanted, elongated forehead.

However, for these tribes, cranial deformation was reserved for those with a certain social status.

“Only families with high status practiced it,” said Rosh.

According to “Modern Induced Skull Deformity in Adults” by William Gump, induced skull deformity is still performed now with a method for adults, which is used to “reach differ­ent levels of conscience” or accessing different parts of the brain and is believed to be why Mayans used this method of modification.

Craig said that Mayans also practiced dental modifi­cation and had several meth­ods for modifying their teeth, such as filing them into very sharp points or to drill a small hole in the center of a tooth and inlay it with pieces of jade.

“Certainly the use the jade was associated with social class, as this was the gold of the ancient Maya, so only someone with a degree of wealth could afford this pro­cedure,” Craig said.

For the Ancient Maya body modification offered people the opportunity to create a distinct social identity for themselves, very much like today, Craig said.