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Ancient Tattoo Ink Versus Ancient Henna Art

Jan 25, 2008
Tattoos have been around in the world for many years. It is an old form of body art and has continued to be practised in almost every single region of the world. The idea of having a permanent mark on drawn onto your skin became a fashion trend and a mark of gaining a certain kind of authority. Britain is best known for its popularity in creating elaborate tattoo designs, using various advanced tattoo supplies and demonstrating a passion for indelible ink art. However, another trend was set to be placed as an alternative to conventional ink tattoo art.

Henna, otherwise known in the South East Asian regions Mendhi, is a tradition used for temporary colouring of various designs on the skin - mainly on the hands and feet. Henna is another form of body that has been in existence for centuries, using the mendhi plant leaf that is grinded down and mixed into a paste. It differs from normal tattoo supplies, as it is a topical application on the skin usually using a cone, sticks or paintbrush. The result is a temporary orange to deep red dye on the skin. The dye lasts between a week and 6 weeks, depending on how potent the product is - a far cry from indelible ink!

Tattoo supplies have changed over the course of history, with the first electronic tattoo needle invented in America that consisted of multiple needles moving in circular motions in which the tattooist can control the needle depth into the skin. Henna on the other hand is a topical product and does not need special tools to leave behind traces of colour. However, both have rarely caused long term problems or allergic reaction.

History

Tattoo ink body art is believed to have originated from the Eurasian region, since the Neolithic period. An example of early tattoo art was found on Otzi the icemen, whose remains were found in the Otzi Valley of the Alps dating back to the fourth millennium BC, exhibited 57 carbon tattoos consisting of mainly lines and dots, on his lower spine, knee and ankle. The tattoo findings may have been because of ritualistic and culture practises of the period. These days tattoo body art varies from culture to culture, some regions still practise this for religious and cultural traditions.

The Egyptians were also known for using tattoo art during the construction of the pyramid. When the Egyptians had expanded their empire, tattooing had spread across Greece, Persia, Crete, and Arabia. By 2000AD, China had begun practising this art form. Henna art is believed to be as old tattooing, however it is not known where the art derives from. However, it has been speculated that it may have derived from India around the 12th century AD.

Tattooing had gained a negative reputation due to its earlier uses on prisoners, gangs, criminals and sometimes symbols of death. The essence of tattooing has since lost its true meaning of being an ancient form of body art, whereas henna has been widely known in the West as Henna-tattoo. A term some would disagree as this too is an ancient cultural and religious practise, that is prevalent in the most Asian wedding and religious ceremonies. The culture of body has transformed into the perspective of cosmetics, though tattoo will continue to thrive in our Western culture as a form of branding art on the body.
About the Author
Anna Stenning is an expert on tattoo art and tattoo supplies, knowing that these are not just a tacky cosmetic appeal, but a historical body art tradition that has been practised for many years. For more information on supplies click on http://www.tattookit.co.uk/
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