The History of Piercings and Tattoos

Topics: Body modification, Body piercing, Tattoo Pages: 3 (1070 words) Published: April 21, 2008
The History of Tattoos and Body Piercing

The largest organ in the human body is the skin. Some people choose to express themselves through decorating their skin with tattoos, piercing and other kinds of body art. It's true origin, symbolism, variety, and modern day versions go way back in time.

The first tattoo known to man, was found on Otzi, the “Iceman“, in 1991. Otzi himself is from around 4,000 B.C. Fifty-eight tattoos were found on him, they were all made of lines and dots. No real symbolism could be made out of the designs. But scientists have a theory that these tattoos were part of some sort of medical or spiritual healing process.

The process of the first tattoos was long and painful. Some of the first tools used in tattooing were made of bone, stone, or wood. There were mainly two types of tools used in the process of making most tribal tattoos: a small tool that looked like a rake, and another rod with a flat surface. The rake-shaped tool was used to make the design of the tattoo. It would first be dipped into its ink or dye, and then punctured into the skin by being tapped by the flat tool. Other ways to be tattooed were by scratching the skin and then rubbing in the ink.

One of the earliest tattoos were tribal tattoos. Polynesian tattooing was one of the most original and artistic tattooing of ancient times. It consisted of very sophisticated, detailed geometrical designs. The Polynesian people would add more and more tattoos to themselves until their body was completely covered. They believed it was a sign of beauty and strength to be tattooed. Mexicans tattooed their idols and gods on their skin. The Spaniards who discovered the designs on the Mexicans, were shocked as they had never seen this work before and called it the work of Satan. Warriors in these South American tribes were tattooed to remind them and others of their success and bravery in battle. In Japan, tattooing was mainly punishment. If you were a convicted...
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