History of Tattoos in Australia

Better Essays
A tattoo is the permanent insertion of ink or other pigments below the skin using a sharp instrument, as a form of decorative form of body modification. The word tattoo is derived from the Tahitian term "tatua," which means "to mark.”
Since the dawn of time, tattoos have been used for all kinds of purposes. Tattoos have served as symbols of rights, symbols of rank or seniority, symbols of spirituality, devotion, religion, rewards for bravery and security. In ancient times, they were also used as symbols of punishment, slavery and conviction. However, over the past century, tattoos have been most frequently used as body art.
The art of tattooing cannot be traced back to a specific time or place. One of the oldest tattoos however, was found to be engraved on the back of a well - preserved natural mummy of a man (now known as “Otzi the Iceman”) who was buried alive on the slopes of the Alps over 5000 years ago. However, research shows that if the skin rots after death, evidence of a tattoo completely disappears. This means that tattoos may have been around for longer than 5000 years, yet there’s no evidence to prove this.

Numerous mummies that were excavated from the pyramids in Egypt have also been found to have tattoos. These tattoos however, were engraved near waists of the women who longed for children and were a symbol of their goddess of fertility. There has been evidence to suggest that in the past tattooing was done for medicinal purposes and that the pigments used in tattoos had some sort of healing effect. For example, societies in the Arctic believe tattoos have powers that can ward off illness or protect people from all types of harm. They believed diseases such as rheumatism were caused by an imbalance in their souls, caused by evil spirits. They thought that these evil spirits entered their bodies through their joints, so they tattooed designs on their joints in an attempt to block them out. Furthermore, ‘protective’ or ‘guardian’ tattoos could

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The author received his first tattoo a few months after his eighteenth birthday. He had spent several years focusing on the meaning, artistic design and placement. Ink was the first thing he desired when he was diagnosed with cancer. Once the writer became an official cancer survivor, three years out from his last chemotherapy treatment, he went and got inked. Etched in black ink on his upper chest are the words, “I Win,” and underneath are the beginning, and ending dates of his chemotherapy treatments. The process was a primal practice of connecting with the physical self. The author developed a deep bond with his tattoo artist. He has vowed to never ink his body without careful planning, and contemplation on the meaning of the ink. Yet,…

    • 1058 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tattoos

    • 514 Words
    • 3 Pages

    How many people in here have a tattoo? How many of you all like tattoos but will never get one? Tattoo, coming from the Tahitian word “tattau” which means to mark were first talked about in James Cook’s expedition to the south pacific in 1769 and also even date back as far as 2000 B.C. because they were found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies from that time period.…

    • 514 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    History of Tattoos

    • 1495 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In today’s world, it is not uncommon to see people covered in all types of body art, such as tattoos. Arms, legs, sometimes even faces, all painted with permanent ink. For what reason, some people ask. What’s the point having words, designs, or pictures permanently drawn onto your skin? I personally love tattoos; they’re an artistic way for people to express who they are and their originality. Tattoos are a way for people to showcase their inner differences. But the question is, where did tattooing start, and why?…

    • 1495 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Tattoos and body piercings come in different shapes and sizes, from the delicate to the extreme. What is the obsession with tattoos and body piercings and why do people insist on having them done? Do people just do these gestures without knowing the pros, cons, and the statistics of people who get an infection or die from tattoos and body piercing? Everyone has the ability to find this knowledge and utilize this knowledge and make a choice whether to have the tattoo or piercing done. People should know that contracting an infection or dying does not happen to everyone.…

    • 1771 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tattoos and Body Piercing

    • 932 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Although a lot of people have tattoos and body piercing, there are twice as many who don’t know the history, development, or the safety and dangers of them. The history of tattoos and body piercing goes deep. Starting around 3150 BC according to (Bianca, 2010) “Egyptians enjoyed adorning themselves with body piercing, and only the Pharaohs and they royal family were allowed to have certain body piercings that would distinguished them among the commoners”. With that Pharaohs were the only one’s able to have belly piercings. Anyone else who was caught with that type of piercing was put to death. In the Holy Bible, the Old Testament in the book of Deuteronomy slaves was marked with body piercings. The Bedouins donates their wealth by the size of their nose ring in the Middle East. The same ring is giving to a future wife and it could be used as security just in case the marriage fails. During blood rituals a tongue piercing was used by the Maya and Aztec civilizations. A tattoo is a scar made by a needle attached to a hand held ink injector tool. This tool moves the needle in an up and down posistion using several vibrations per minute penatrating the skin about one millimeter leaving ink in the skin creating a tattoo. Tattoos come from the tahitian word tattau that means to mark. In an expedition to the south pacific in 1769 tattoo was first mention in explore James Cook’s records. Some scientist believe the first evidence of tattooing was found on the skin of a mummified human body called Iceman in 3300 B.C. In the 18th an 19th century tattooed Polynesians and indians amazed crowds at circuses and fairs. Tattoos have different meanings to various cultures. The purposes of tattoos varies from different cultures . In africa tattoo were used mostly among the dark colored skin to hide their true skin color. Tattoos were used at some point to protect the tribal people from harmful spirits while other showed the bravery and courage of a…

    • 932 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Workplace Tattoos

    • 770 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Tattoos are very popular. They are the style now days. There are a lot of people who have them. There are also many people who want them. Tattoo can mean different things. It’s can be some type of way someone can expressed them self. Tattoo is an art that many people enjoy.…

    • 770 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tattoos have gotten more popular over the years and has become a very controversial topic. There are many arguments about the entire process and what it means for society. In my opinion, tattoos are more than just this week’s trend, but they are art. Tattoos have been around historically, there is a guide that comes to tattooing safely, and the ink that will permanently with you forever acts to express yourself.…

    • 969 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Tattoos can be a way of identifying a tribe, or can represent someone’s status, and can serve as protection for superstitious cultures. Tattoos have different meaning for different people, for example, Otzi, his tattoos could have been meant as therapeutic rather than symbolic.…

    • 73 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word tattau. It means "to mark" and was first mentioned in explorer James Cook’s records from his 1769 expedition to the South Pacific. Some scientists say that certain marks on the skin of the Iceman, a mummified human body starting from about 3300 B.C., are tattoos. In fact, tattoos were found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies starting from about B.C. One of the earliest tattoos was tribal tattoos. Tattoos have different meaning in different cultural tribes. For example, Polynesian people would add more and more tattoos to themselves even until their body was completely covered. They believed this was a sign of beauty and strength. In some tribes, boys reaching manhood received one tattoo to mark the moment, when men had another style done when they married. In ancient Japan, tattooing was main punishment. If you were a convicted criminal, you would get a mark on your forehead, convicted twice then you got another, and if you convicted a third time, you would get a final mark making the Japanese symbol for dog. Very similar in ancient China, mark on skin only for criminal that let…

    • 1791 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The history of tattooing stems back thousands of years from all over the world for all different reasons. “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. The distribution of the tattooed dots and small crosses on his lower spine and right knee and ankle joints correspond to areas of strain-induced degeneration, with the suggestion that they may have been applied to alleviate joint pain and were therefore essentially therapeutic. This would also explain their somewhat 'random' distribution in areas of the body which would not have been that easy to display had they been applied as a form of status marker.” (Cate Lineberry, Tattoos -The Ancient and Mysterious History, Para 2 and 3)…

    • 1615 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tattoo History

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages

    While most people are not aware of how far back tattoos and their uses are dated in history, tattoos date back thousands of years and have a variety of uses. Tattoos symbolize everything from personal experiences, religion, or simply art. There are literally thousands of designs and styles that variety from black to elaborate colorful schemes. Rather flaunted or hidden, sought as art or bought out of a whim, the tattoo has left its mark on generation after generation (Krakow, 1994). Throughout history tattooing has had many purposes that vary from culture, to person, to a specific date in history.…

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The tattoo has been around since before Christ and is still to this day a highly recognized form of acceptance in the generation we live in today. Although this art is derived as accepting to our younger generation, it is perceived as unprofessional, associated to criminals, and in some cases perceived as demonic. The quick assumption of ones character due to ones personal appearance has been an ongoing issue we face in our country. Individuals who bear tattoos usually do so for a significant meaning. The art is perceived in several lights considering the history and the individual’s outlook.…

    • 1499 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Tattoos

    • 490 Words
    • 2 Pages

    We all have the right to express ourselves how we want to, whether it be dancing, drawing, singing, or even body art!! Tattoos are not just for looks, it’s a way to tell a story. A lot of people that have gone in the war or service, they come out wanting to get a tattoo about what division they were in. Do we judge them or criticize them on that? No, we honor them! So before you start assuming that people with tattoos are bad, just ask questions for the meaning behind the tattoo. You will be surprised of what most people will have to say.…

    • 490 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    The History of Tattoos

    • 1824 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Pharos and slaves. Seamen and criminals. Aristocrats and the beloved. Have all shared one thing: the art of the tattoo.…

    • 1824 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Negatives of Having Tattoo

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages

    II. Relevance: The art of tattoos can be dated as far back to 2000 B.C. Back then tattooing was used for such things as rituals or for cultural purposes. Today it is popular for expressing oneself and portraying individuality.…

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays