History of Tattoos

Topics: Tattoo, History of tattooing, Tattooing Pages: 6 (1861 words) Published: May 16, 2010
Page One

History of Tattoos
Regina Perkins
English 101
April 23, 2010
Annie Mak

Page Two

Tattoos are so taboo yet so interesting you get different reactions from different people. But one thing we all agree on when it comes to getting a tattoo / body art, the pain you endure makes the story of the tattoo that more interesting. Tattoos are a beautiful thing and to be able to express yourself though body art is also a sign of bravery.

The history of tattooing, comes with many stories through out history. And amazingly tattooing has survived the test of times.

Thesis Statement:
While tattooing is negative and unacceptable among some people, tattoos are away of self expression.

Page Three
Tattoos have come a long way in the world throughout history. They have been used for various reasons in the world. As time changed so did the use of tattoos. In today’s world most people get tattoos just because and some for purposes. The styles used for tattoos today have no intentional meaning. In history every tattoo had a meaning and or purpose. The word tattoo is said to have two major derivations- from the Polynesian word ‘ta’ which means striking something and the Tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means ‘to mark something. The history of tattoo began over 5000 years ago and is as diverse as the people who wear them. Tattoos are created by inserting colored materials beneath the skins surface. The first tattoos probably were created by accident. Someone had a small wound, and rubbed it with a hand that was dirty with soot and ashes from the fire. Once the wound had healed, they saw that a mark stayed permanently. Despite the social sciences' growing fascination with tattooing, and the immense popularity of tattoos themselves, the practice has not left much of a historical record. (http://www.designboom.com/history/tattoo_history.html)

Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent designs—sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment. Joann Fletcher, research fellow in the department of archaeology at the University of York in Britain, describes the history of tattoos and their cultural significance to people around the world, from the famous " Iceman," a 5,200-year-old frozen mummy, to today’s Maori.

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In terms of tattoos on actual bodies, the earliest known examples were for a long time Egyptian and were present on several female mummies dated to c. 2000 B.C. But following the more recent discovery of the Iceman from the area of the Italian-Austrian border in 1991 and his tattoo patterns, this date has been pushed back a further thousand years when he was carbon-dated at around 5,200 years old. (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/10023606.html)

It is arguably claimed that tattooing has existed since 12,000 years BC. The purpose of tattooing has varies from culture to culture and its place on the time line. But there are commonalties that prevail form the earliest known tattoos to those being done on college students on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. Tattoos have always had an important role in ritual and tradition. In Borneo, women tattooed their symbols on their forearm indicating their particular skill. If a woman wore a symbol indicating she was a skilled weaver, her status as prime marriageable material was increased. Tattoos around the wrist and fingers were believed to ward away illness. Throughout history tattoos have signified membership in a clan or society. Even today groups like the Hells Angels tattoo their particular group symbol....

Cited: Page
* http://www.designboom.com/history/tattoo_history.html
* http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/10023606.html
* http://www.powerverbs.com/tattooyou/history.htm
* https://www.msu.edu/~krcmari1/individual/history.html
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