Monday, 19 March 2012

Ok let's talk Tatoos. I know it is a mainstream thing these days but I won't be jumping on the band wagon. I am just not a fan of them. I see so many dancers mainly tribal dancers with so many Tatoos. I found this interesting article I thought people would be interested in. Interesting Historical Facts on Tattoos

Interesting Historical Facts on Tattoos
By Luchito Ruiz

Tattoo is derived from the Tahitian 'tattau', which means to tap into the body. The first documented account of tattoos came in 1769 from James Cook's expedition to the South Pacific. It was the local practice in Tahiti to tattoo the bottoms of girls completely black as soon as they attain sexual maturity. In Hawaii, locals were found to tattoo a set of three dots on their tongue when they lost a loved one as a mark of bereavement.

Since then, it has been established that tattoos have been around for several thousands of years starting with the unearthing of Nubian and Egyptian mummies and culminating in the 1991 discovery of the famed 'Ice Man' called Otzi, who has been carbon dated back to 3300 BC.

Otzi was found to have a mind-boggling 57 tattoos that included a symbol of a cross on the inside of his knee, 6 straight 15 cm. long lines just above the kidneys, and several lines running parallel to each other along the ankles. The position of these tattoos led experts to believe that they were probably placed there for therapeutic reasons to reduce joint pain.

Female Nubian and Egyptian mummies were found with tattoos that are thought by experts to have been etched as protection during pregnancy and delivery. All the tattoos were found on the abdomen and the thighs and invariably had the picture of the Egyptian God Bes who is the god of revelry and fertility. Egyptian males were found with tattoos of geometrical patterns on their arms and legs.

The Maoris are famous for tattooing their face and head at different stages in their life. The tattoo acts as an identification card that carries information on a person's ancestry, family, status and rank, and personal skills. Europeans in the 1820s used to trade guns for the tattooed heads of Maori warriors. Thankfully, this gory practice ended in 1831 with the ban on import of human heads.

In Ancient Greece and Rome, tattoos were called 'stigmata' and signified a mark of ownership on slaves and also as a mark of criminality. Tattoos were popular with Roman soldiers and the rapid spread of the Roman Empire across the world contributed a lot to the globalisation of the tattoo.

Although tattoos were used extensively during the Crusades of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, it disappeared for a while from Western civilization. It is interesting to note that Great Britain gets its name from tattooing; 'Briton' means 'people of the designs' and 'Picts' means 'the painted people'. And the British do hold the distinction of being the most tattooed in all of Europe.

In a recent survey in 2010, it was found that a quarter of the Australian population under the age of 30 sported a tattoo. Tattoos have evolved with growing intercultural influences and now could be interpreted as a sign of religious belief, a declaration of love, a status symbol, or just as a form of adornment.

Luchito Ruiz is a massage therapist who writes on topics that interest him in his spare time. Recently he has been fascinated with the evolution of tattoos and shares a wealth of information in this article on the history of tattoos. Visit Sydney Tattoo Artists and Tattoo Shop Sydney for more on tattoos.

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