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The History of Tattoos

Aug 21, 2008
Tattoos have been popular for thousands of years. Although the process may have changed some over the decades, the reasons for getting a tattoo may not have changed. All around the world, you can find people with tattoos and this widespread popularity is what makes the tattoo world so varied in design and styles. Where did the tattoo practice begin?

Even as early as the Neolithic period (Stone Age), tattoos were found in Eurasia. Ortiz the Iceman, that was found in the Alps frozen, had 57 tattoos on his body that consisted of simple dots and lines. These early tattoos were the precursor to our tattoos today. Tattoos in Japan were found as many as ten thousand years ago. These first tattoos were most likely made from making cuts in the skin and rubbing the wounds with soot or ashes. After the cuts healed, the remaining color made up their tattoos.

These early tattoos most likely marked some rite of passage that the person had gone through. From acts of bravery to marks of status and rank to pledges of love to punishment and more, these tattoos marked the events of life that the early people had went through. They also signified membership of a particular tribe or ethnic group. This symbolism that was so popular in early times can still be found in many tattoo choices today.

Tattoos were used during the Holocaust to identify the Jews that were in the concentration camps, but they were used for other identification needs as well. Maori chiefs used their facial tattoo that described their identification as their signature on official documents.

This early use of tattoos to mark rites of passage or for identification has grown into more of an art form today. Tattoo artists today are known for their intricate artwork that they apply to the body. Many of these artists have fine art or technical art training, which serves them well in creating body art. Tattoos may be chosen to mark a rite of passage or for identification even today, but tattoos found today are normally more intricate and colorful than the early tattoos.

Due to the widespread exposure to the tattoo world via television and other media, tattooing has seen an increased popularity in the United States and other countries. This popularity has in turn caused the choices of tattoos and tattoo shops to increase as well. You can find a tattoo artist to create anything that you can imagine to add to your body as art.

While the history of tattooing can go back to the Stone Age and the reasons can be much the same as they were then, there has been quite a change in the procedure and detail of tattoos today. This dedication to detailing and beauty has made tattooing even more popular with people. Whether you want to mark a life happening or just add a bit of personality and beauty to your body, you will find that a tattoo can fit your wants and needs.
About the Author
Picking a tattoo is hard. The harder a decision, the more likely you won't regret it. A tough decision means you put thought into it. You likely picked a design that had some meaning to you. That's the way it should be. Click here for some tattoo design ideas.
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