In this world where everyone tries to beautify himself or herself, tattooing is not an exception for the beautification. This is something you find on almost everyone in the world.
Tattoos can be either permanent or temporary that is some can stay for a long period while the other one can only be for a period of time. So many people engage in this art across the world but have you ever sat down to imagine what the history of this art seems like.
How it began and where it comes from?Tattooing has been in existence since the new stone age which makes it incredibly ancient and this has been proved through the discovery of ancient art and archaeologist.
Archaeologist has found 12,000 years old tattoo kits in a cave in southern Europe. Further proofs show that the oldest tattoo mummy is from the chinchorro culture in Northern Chile. This is as old as 7,800 years.
This first tattoos were discovered on Otzi which is an Iceman and was dated 3370 and 3100BC. The tattoos were made by piercing the skin and then rubbing in the charcoal. It was later said to be for therapeutic purpose, since the locations of the tattoos match areas where joint modification was occurring.
Otzi may be said to be the first person with tattoos known to mankind, but the other eras and ages has a long and rich history of tattooing which is very much certain from over forty-nine different places around the world.
The major locations includes Alaska, China, Egypt, Greenland, Mongolia, Philippines, Russia and Sudan. All these discoveries are from different periods of time altogether out of which some are before 2100BC.
It was also said that ancient times people have different theories pertaining to tattooing depending upon their location and culture when giving the tattoos, in different culture, tattoo practice in Egypt has been around 2000BC, this was discovered from tattooed mummies from ancient Egypt.
Some concepts have it that these tattoos found on the mummies are done basically for decorative purposes. Some also prove that they are done for medical treatment which was also suggested by ‘Daniel Fouquet’.
It was also discovered on the mummified body of the priestess Hathor that the markings were done for the treatment of pelvic peritionitis.
Another interesting discovery about tattoo art work from ancient Egypt is that the practice was only carried out on women’s body and the reason behind this theory is that there are no enough evidence neither physical nor artistic, that means body was also inked in ancient Egypt.
This got changed between 300BC and 400CE when men got their bodies tattooed.
In ancient Asia and China, a number of tattooed mummies have been found in their cemeteries across western China in the providence of Xinjiang. Some mummies are older than 2100BC, while some are younger.
As at the time of ancient China the art of tattooing ones body was seriously condemned and considered inhuman act.
In ancient China tattoos are carved on the faces of criminals and those with bad activities to differentiate them from people with good character.Just as Egypt, China and Asia, Samoa also has her own history of tattooing.
The modern day English world for ‘Tattoos’ originated from samoan word for tattoo which is ‘TaTau’. Tattooing has been an essential part of samoan cultural traditions for thousands of years.
The skills was not only practiced by the Samoan but also passed from one generation to the other in order to maintain it continuity. As at then, the tools used in this practice were made with hand through the uses of boar’s teeth and turtle shell. These tools are still in use even till now, nothing has really changed.
Like have said that the art of tattooing is an important part of this people culture, tattooing is often done during the ascension of the younger chief to a leadership role in the society. They see this as a way of dedicating once life to the culture and as a great endurance as well.
During the Ancient Greece and Rome that is the 5th century, it is very clear that tattoos during this era were done mainly on the outcasts of the society such as prisoners of war, criminals and slaves.
There are proofs from ancient Rome that soldiers and arms manufacturers had tattoos which continued till 9th century. The development of tattoos began in the mid 20th century. Before this period tattoos were not socially acceptable.
It was only practiced by few especially those in entertainment industry.In the 1910’s, which is the advent of the 20th century, the majority of people who usually have tattoos are performers and sailor.
Then tattoos were used to either tell their personality story or their profession.Most sailors usually have anchor tattooed on their body because it was a custom within the sailing community whenever a young sailor will join, he would be tattooed as a mark of belonging.
This can also be called a kind of initiation ceremony to welcome a new joiner on the board. Since then, the practice has continued to grow from identification of purposes to define the length of their journey.
In the 1929’s, cosmetic tattoo were a craze among women. Women would get popular styles tattoos on their faces, most commonly used makeup tattoos were eyebrows and lip liner but the traditionally designed tattoos were still not acceptable and as a result of this, it was not all that common in the society.
In the 1930’s people were asked to memorize their personal social security numbers and due to this, so many got themselves tattooed with their social security number. So that they would always have access to it. With this, tattoos were still not accepted in the society in further annihilation of tattoos in 1930’s a new theory prevailed across the society that tattoos repressed sexual desires.
In 1940s, the iconic ‘Sailor Jerry’ style of tattoo was in vogue which was created by Norman Keith Collins. He added color to tattoos by creating his own tattoo designs. The tattoos during this period were mostly revolving around nautical or military motifs. During this period there was an increase in women getting tattoos.
Due to the above points, the acceptance of tattoos started escalating. People started to get decorative tattoos on their bodies and over a little genial towards them talking of tattoos in the 1950’s, these become a thing for men.
Especially those that are bad and rascals. Although there were still some people who stigmatized having tattoos which also made people having tattoos at this period to be considered criminals.
In 1960s, tattoo parlors were blamed in New York after it was said that tattoos caused hepatitis. But there is no evidence that the case was true or not and as a result that art and industry were affected in bad way.
Due to the above celebrities are now the ones who get themselves tattooed. Designs like skull and crossbones became popular in this period among the community of passionate bikers.
In the 1970s, tattoos started to pick-up and became famous. People of the society were also taking interest in tattoos. At this time, everyone started to get tattoos on their body. Peace messages and symbols are also common at this period which was as a result of tattooing.
Tattoos were getting bolder, brighter and bigger in 1980s. Its was the time we have BOLD BLACK outlines, colorful mortify designs and cultist knots. The rock and roll music scene also encourage the flourishing tattoo industry at large.
Most people will get their tattoos done after being inspired by their favorite rocks stars’ tattoos. At 80s, society was finally ready to socially accept tattoos. Tattooing was no longer condemned and so many people can now get their body painted.
In 1990s, there was a change in the society. During this time celebrities started to get themselves inked which actually takes tattooing to the next level. A great example of this is Pamela Anderson’s who got barbed wire on her armband.
Furthermore, other designs like tribal designs, Chinese letters, or tattoo of the sun also gain grounds at this period.
In 2000s, which is the new century and 21st century, tattoos also gain it grounds. During this period the craze for lower back tattoos gained popularity. ”Tramp Stamp” was also one of the most favorite places for women to get tattoos, in the period.
The designs which were common during that period were of butterfly and Yin-Yang symbols. The singer named Rihanna also get her body tattooed during the period. Without gain saying, the celebrities help take tattoo to the next level during this period.
In the 2010s tattoos changed to newer level. This is a period where we experience rapid growth in tattoo designs and also in the placement of tattoos. In this period, people started to get themselves tattooed with small designs in unusual places like nape, fingers or behind the ears were gaining popularity.
Creativity started to take place in the tattoo industry during this period.On daily basis, we can see many beautiful designs coming in, and more people are getting tattoos on their body just to make the beautification of their body a special one. This period actually saw the enactment of tattooing.