Everyone has their own views about tattoos. Some people love them whiles other don’t. It’s kind of a Marmite, ´love it hate it’ thing. Over the past fifty years, tattoos have gradually become more accepted in modern society. Previously having a body art was viewed by some as being rebellious. So clearly even today there are those who dislike the idea of permanent markings on the body, but views have softened.
Tattoos – History
The word ‘tattoo’ comes from a Tahitian word ‘tatu’ – to mark something. So how long have tattoos been about?
In 1991, the amazing natural mummy nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ was discovered in the Ötztal Alps on the Austria-Italian border. The man who is dated to have lived between 3359 and 3105 BC would now be 5300 years old. The Iceman had a total of 61 tattoos on his body. These were a collection of black lines 3mm thick and 7-40mm long. They were groups of parallel lines running vertically on the lumbar spine, as well as the left wrist, right ankle and behind the right knee with several
markings or ‘tattoos’ on his legs. Closer examination revealed that the tattoos were made from a pigment of soot or fireash.
So it goes without saying that tattoos are not a modern concept and have been around for thousands of years.
Tattoos – Origin
Body art was used in ancient cultures thousands of years ago as it was believed it would protect a person from disease. The use of needles with ink to mark a body was initially used in Egypt. It then spread to Greece and Arabia and then to Asia. Initially tattoos were used to mark criminals to make it easy to identify them. It was in Japan where tattoos were changed into a form of art. The Japanese mafia used tattoos to intimidate people. Several centuries back wealthy families had their family crests tattooed on their bodies, but this gradually was phased out.
Tattoos – Tools
The tools and equipment employed for tattooing have changed significantly over the years. Originally pieces of sharp bone were use, eventually electric machines, and now modern electric pens. So having your body tattooed has become fairly simple, which is perhaps why it has lost some of its appeal to those who were being inked to stand out and express themselves.
Over recent years the art of body tattoos has become very popular again all over the world. These days it s estimated that 3-4 people out of 10 have some time of body tattoo. So with the advent of temporary ink the market for tattoos exploded. It became more appealing to many people who liked the idea of tattoos, but didn’t like the idea of permanent body marks. The trend is sure to continue.