Tattoo History

Topics: Tattoo, Meaning of life, Tattooing, History of tattooing / Pages: 5 (1097 words) / Published: Apr 12th, 2017
Art can be created through many different shapes and forms, all as beautiful, but not as historically rich as the other. Tattooing peoples body, whether for a living or for a hobby, is the form of art that is richest in history. In this research paper, I will discuss the history of tattoos, starting with the Polynesians, then I will uncover the role tattoos played during World War 2, and lastly, I will talk about tattoos in the modern day.
Tattoos have a very long history in Samoa, Polynesia which began over two thousand years ago. Tattooing is known as an unbreakable Polynesian tradition which is passed down from father to son. Tattooing during this time is extremely different than today as they usually spent many hours designing, using a
…show more content…
Tattoos are a part of one of the most horrible chapters known to history, the Holocaust. These types of tattoos were first introduced in 1941 on Soviet prisoners, however, these were much different than the ones we know of today. Guards used a special metal stamp which contained numbers made up of needles approximately 1 cm long. This stamp was punched into the prisoners left side of their chest and raw ink was rubbed into the punctured wound (Hoenig, 1167). Shortly after in 1942, a single- needle tool was used in the place of the stamp. Guards in concentration camps would mark the skin of the prisoners with serial numbers on their left forearms. Tattoos in the concentration camps were one letter and five numbers separated by a single dash; they looked nothing like Samoan tattoos. These serial numbers varied depending on the person. In the early years, they began with the letters “KL” meaning concentration camp in German, “Z” for the gypsies, and in 1942, letters “A” or “B” were introduced to tell new series of registrations apart from one another (Hoenig, 1167). They were said to be extremely painful and resulted in infection, fever, and cellulitis due to the needles not being sterilized. Although these tattoos were a constant reminder to Holocaust survivors of their brutal past, they were content to have been wounded by these painful tools because the unlucky souls who weren’t, …show more content…
They have become a form of rebellion, fashion, or personal satisfaction. Society has been so welcoming to tattoos in the past decade that they are now seen as mainstream, especially for millennials. Results from a research conducted by the Pew Research Center on Millennials show that four out of ten millennials have a tattoo (Foltz, 589). Because society has become relatively more open minded towards body art, such as tattoos, the media tends to shine more and more light on this form of art. Being the main influencer known to society, the media influences, especially younger generations, in getting tattoos. The more tattoos are publicized, the more people will get them. As mentioned above, the people of today simply get tattoos because it’s fashionable and of course, it looks pretty! There no longer needs to be meaning behind these permanent scars and this idea would leave the Samoans disappointed. Although having stated this, there are people who still believe in the importance of meaning behind a tattoo. A popular and meaningful tattoo would be the representation of a loved one’s death or birth in roman numerals usually drawn on the inner forearm, rib cage, or shoulder blade. These tattoos are extremely delicate and beautiful on the eye; no wonder they are very common to the few who still believe in the meaning of

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • History of Tattoos
  • History of Tattoos
  • The History of Tattoos
  • History of Tattoos
  • The History of Tattoos
  • History of Tattoos
  • The History of Tattoos
  • History of Tattoos
  • History of Tattoos in Australia
  • Tattoos: a Brief History