Tattooa and Body Piercings

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The History of Tattoos and Piercings
Amanda Ward
Axia College University of Phoenix
Tattoos and Piercings are two forms of body art that have been practiced throughout history; they are ways of expressing ones independence or for religiousor cultural reasons. Tattoos and body piercing have had important meaning throughout history. Depending on the observer's personal history and experience, their meanings can differ from person to person, or from group to group. To begin with, there is evidence to show that tattoos and body piercing have been used as early as 3300 B.C. The oldest mummy found bearing tattoos is a mummified iceman named “Otzi” from that time. Otzi bears 57 tattoos which include a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys, and small parallel lines along the lumbar, ankles, and legs. Otzi also had an ear piercing 7-11 mm in diameter. There have been Egyptian and Nubian mummies found with tattoos that date to about 2000 BC. The Romans are said to have started the practice of piercings when the soldiers would pierce their nipples to show bravery and to hold their cloaks down. Many historic tribes all over the world have used both tattoos and body piercings to indicate public facts about themselves. Some of these reasons could be wealth, security, religion, and status within the group. For example, in the Berber and Beja tribes of Africa, a husband would give his wife a nose ring at their marriage. This ring denotes the wealth of the family. On the other hand, the ring becomes security to the woman if she gets divorced. The Samoan tribe was discovered by missionaries in 1722. The missionaries found that tattooing was a common practice among the tribe. In fact, a boy would have to get tattoos before he was allowed to marry, or speak in the presence of grown men. The Samoans would tattoo the nose of a member who had committed a serious crime, which was considered equal to having theirear cut...
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