Tattooing is an art form and form of body modification where a pigment is inserted into a skin to change its color permanently. It is a very old tradition and today is more popular and socially acceptable than ever.
We may see tattoos as an act of rebellion against the society but that is only one of the many reasons why people wore and still wear tattoos. Tattoos find ways to human skin from purely accidental to necessary and life-saving.
Tattoos appeared in different parts of the world practically independently and at the same time. Different styles and techniques developed in these places and they today mix and mingle to joy of all tattoo enthusiasts and artists. Find out more interesting facts about tattooing and tattoos.
Tattooing does a strange thing in combination with a human body to stay in the skin for a very long time. For those that want pictures on texts on their but don't like the part “very long time”, there are alternatives which last shorter and are just as pretty.
An evidence that prehistoric people knew and practiced tattooing are tools that were discovered in France, Portugal, and Scandinavia. These tools are at least 12,000 years old and were used for tattooing. Oldest surviving tattoos are the ones found Ötzi the Iceman, mummy found in the Ötz valley in the Alps and dating from the 5th to 4th millennium BC. We also know that Germanic and Celtic tribes also tattooed themselves. Mummy of Amunet from ancient Egypt and the mummies at Pazyryk, Siberia, (dating from the end of the 2nd millennium BC), that we found also have tattoos on them. So tattoos were known around the world very early in human history.
Ancient Egypt and India used tattoos as methods of healing and as methods of religious worship. They were also marks of a status in a society but also a punishment. Tattoos in Philippines were marks of the rank and accomplishments and people there believed that they have magical properties.
When Christianity appeared, tattooing was considered a barbaric tradition and it slowly faded in Europe to return with transoceanic travels in 16th. Travelers like Sir Martin Frobisher, William Dampier, and Captain James Cook brought home with them indigenous people from places they visited and they were often tattooed. At first, tattooing was “reserved” for sailors and lower classes but in time, as tattoo artists became more and more proficient, tattooing became hobby of aristocracy which had money to pay high prices of professionals. As the tattooing became cheaper it again was seen as a mark of a lower class. It stayed like that until 1960s and the hippie movement when it slowly entered mainstream changing from deviant behavior to acceptable form of self-expression. It became so mainstream that even Mattel started selling barbie dolls with tattoos. People of both sexes, of all economic classes, and of all ages wear tattoos if they want so. In 2000 15% of Americans had tattoos.