Brief History of Tattoos

Tattooing is very old and has been a part of our society for many years and it can be easily found among native and ancient cultures worldwide. The earliest tattoo which was found was on the Iceman mummy  and it has been estimated  that it lived 3300 BC  and was discovered  in the year 1991 in the Italian Alps in the northern region, the mummy was having  57 tattoos approximately  on its ankles, lower back and the back of the knees. It is believed that these tattoos were made for the medicinal purpose and possibly it was a form of the primeval acupuncture.

Ancient time tattoos

Tattoos were also found on the Egyptian mummies, but only in females and many evidences have been found in many cultures as well, including Mayan, Greek, Norse, Ainu, Saxon and Aztec. Tattooing in the Asian regions are more than a thousand years old. Tattooed mummies which were found provide the concrete evidence and have been explored in many parts of the world. There are hundreds of examples in ancient Egypt of tattooing and the oldest tattoo which was found was on the Egyptian priestess Hathor or at Thebes, amount who was in the existence approximately four thousand years ago. She was having parallel lines of dots.

Some archaeologists speculated that because of her status that was religious; art on her body had magical and spiritual connotations. Others believe that dots on her body were of a sexual nature. Some of the most ornate, diverse and bizarre body art was also found  in  the complex and mysterious  world of the culture Maya  between 300 & 900 A.D. for Maya culture body modifications and tattooing  were done for  beautification as well as spiritual reasons. Facial tattoos and full body tattoo were acquired by both women and men.

Polynesians tattooing culture

One of the richest tattooing cultures was found in the Polynesians. The word tattoo also comes from the Tahitian word “Tatu” that means to mark something. In the Polynesian culture, the history of tattoos reaches back over 1000 years and these tattoos are considered as the most complex and detailed tattoos. For Polynesians culture the art of tattooing is measured spiritual and sometimes tattoos are done on the entire body. Even at present, tattooing tradition by hand is considered as the most sacred thing by the Polynesians, and this craft and art is passed from one generation to another.

The Hawaiian culture tattoo

This culture is also renowned for tattoos. In the society of Hawaiian  the art tradition of tattoo is known as kakau and it is not performed for ornamentation  or individualism purpose, but are also  guarded as the one’s spirit, well being and health. Hawaiian tattoos are mimicking elements, typically intricate of nature like reeds, leaves, plants and other creatures of nature, such as tortoise, lizards, fish, and butterflies.

Tattooing methods

A wide variety of the methods have been developed in the different cultures.  In the Indian tribes tattooing is done by simply pricking and in the California tribes ink is inserted in scratches. Actual punctures by needles were utilized in the Siberia, which made punctures through the thread coated having a pigment that is commonly soot and is drawn underneath the skin. In New Zealand they use their wood carving techniques for tattooing. In Polynesia and Micronesia pigments were directly pricked into the skin with a special tool.

Tattoo symbols

Traditions and rituals have been constant and common factors in tattooing art. In some of the society’s tribal symbols and family crests were used that helped in recognizing the bands of the humans. During the era of Victoria was modern machine for the tattoo art was   invented and it was also patented. The design was similar as we have today. Tattoos are worn all over the body and in many tribes women use them for beautification or representing their skills. In other societies criminals were marked   so that they are clearly identified who they are.

In the early 17000s tattooing was very lengthy procedure and was costly became the status symbol and those who were wealthy can afford it. All these were changed with the invention of the electric needle in the year 1891. Tattoos finally became desirable after the safety techniques and several celebrities started supporting them. Now people have started recognizing its artistic merits and this art is very popular today.

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