tattoos date back to about 3000 B.C. Marks found on a mummified human body dating that old, have tattoos.
Tattoos have also been found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies that date back to about
2000 B.C. Many references can also be found in books from classical authors referring
to the Greeks, Germans and Gauls.
rediscovered tattooing when they encountered Polynesians and American Indians during some exploration.
The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word "tattau” which
European and U.S. societies considered tattoos very exotic so many
tattooed Indians and Polynesians drew a crowd at the circus and fairs during
and 19th centuries.The
reason for tattooing has changed over the years and across various cultures. In
the early practice of
tattooing, it was primarily for decoration. This ancient practice still holds true today for most people.
Early Romans used tattoos for identification. They would tattoo slaves and criminals so
that everyone would know their status. Tahitian tattoos were rites of passage and told to
story and history of the person’s life. In the early
days of the U.S. when sailors would travel to foreign lands, they would collect
tattoos as souvenirs of their travels and experiences.Methods
of tattooing varied across cultures and time as well. Many Indians in North and
South America created
tattoos simply by pricking. Some tribes in California then began to introduce scratches when
introducing color. In Polynesia, pigment was pricked into the skin by using a small tool that
resembled a rake. In New Zealand, the Maori people used wood carving techniques using a
bone-cutting tool to make shallow, colored grooves in the skin. When the Europeans
arrived, they began to use metal, taking a small step toward the puncture style of tattooing we see today.
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