Because of its Amerindian origin, tattooing offered a way for French officers to exist and to be recognized within the indigenous nations with which they associated. From a European perspective, one can compare tattooing to Amerindian baptism. Just as a tattooed officer left behind "civilization" to adopt a state of "savagery," a baptized Amerindian lost his savage state to join the Christian community. Both acts were rituals of adoption. However, one wonders whether the French accepted all of the implications of Amerindian rituals.