Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From?

Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From
External links [ edit ] – Wikiquote has quotations related to Tattoo. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tattoos. Wikisource has original text related to this article:

  • Tattoos, The Permanent Art , documentary produced by Off Book
  • History, Ink produced by Meghan Glass Hughes for The Valentine Richmond History Center

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When was the word tattoo invented?

Origin and usage – Tattoo is a word with more than one origin, depending on its usage. In reference to a permanent design on the skin, tattoo comes from the Polynesian words ‘tatau’ or ‘tatu’ meaning ‘mark made on the skin’. It first appeared in English in 1769.

Why is tatoo called tattoo?

The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the Samoan word ‘tatau’, which mimics the tapping sound of the tools used during tattooing. To create tattoos, they used turtle shells and boar’s teeth to tap the dark pigment into the skin.

Who came up with tattooing?

Greece and Rome [ edit ] – Greek written records of tattooing date back to at least the 5th-century BCE. [3] : 19  The ancient Greeks and Romans used tattooing to penalize slaves, criminals, and prisoners of war. While known, decorative tattooing was looked down upon and religious tattooing was mainly practiced in Egypt and Syria.

[72] : 155  According to Robert Graves in his book The Greek Myths , tattooing was common amongst certain religious groups in the ancient Mediterranean world, which may have contributed to the prohibition of tattooing in Leviticus.

The Romans of Late Antiquity also tattooed soldiers and arms manufacturers, a practice that continued into the ninth century. [72] : 155  The Greek verb stizein (στίζειν), meaning “to prick,” was used for tattooing. Its derivative stigma (στίγμα) was the common term for tattoo marks in both Greek and Latin.

[72] : 142  During the Byzantine period , the verb kentein (κεντεῖν) replaced stizein , and a variety of new Latin terms replaced stigmata including signa “signs,” characteres “stamps,” and cicatrices “scars.

” [72] : 154–155.

What is the meaning of the term tattoo?

tat·​too | \ ta-ˈtü \ 1 : a mark, figure, design, or word intentionally fixed or placed on the skin: a : one that is indelible and created by insertion of pigment under the skin b : one that is temporarily applied to the skin, resembles a permanent tattoo, and usually lasts for a few days to several weeks c : one that is composed of scar tissue intentionally created by cutting, abrading, or burning the skin tattooed ; tattooing ; tattoos transitive verb 1 : to mark the skin with (a tattoo) tattooed a flag on his chest 2 : to mark or color (the skin) with tattoos 1 : a rapid rhythmic rapping 2 a : a call sounded shortly before taps as notice to go to quarters b : outdoor military exercise given by troops as evening entertainment tattooed ; tattooing ; tattoos transitive verb 1 : to beat or rap rhythmically on : drum on 2 baseball , informal a : to hit (a pitched ball) very hard An RBI single followed, and then Rougned Odor tattooed the first pitch he saw for a three-run homer. — Derrick Goold b : to get many hits and runs against (a pitcher) The Twins tattooed him for four more in the third … — Brian Murphy.

Why is tattoo a sin?

Sunni Islam [ edit ] – The majority of Sunni Muslims believe tattooing is a sin, because it involves changing the natural creation of God, inflicting unnecessary pain in the process. Tattoos are classified as dirty things, which is prohibited in Islam.

They believe that a dirty body will directly lead to a dirty mind and will destroy their wudhu, ritual ablution. [24] Some Shafi’i scholars such as Amjad Rasheed argue that tattooing causes impurity and that tattoos were prohibited by the Prophet Muhammad.

They also claim that those who are decorated with tattoos are contaminated with najas , [25] due to potential mixture of blood and coloured pigment that remains upon the surface of the skin. [26] Blood is viewed as an impure substance, so a person with a tattoo cannot engage in several religious practices.

  • [27] However, in the present day, it is possible to get a tattoo without mixing dye with blood after it exits onto the outer surface of the body, leaving a possibility for a Muslim to wear a tattoo and perform a valid prayer;

Scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi states that tattoos are sinful because they are an expression of vanity and they alter the physical creation of God. [28] According to the online South African Deobandi fatwa service called Ask-the-Imam , Muslims should remove any tattoos they have if possible or cover them in some way.

What is the Bible say about tattoos?

Tattoos have been around for millennia. People got them at least five thousand years ago. Today they’re common everywhere from Maori communities in New Zealand to office parks in Ohio. But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing.

Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves. ” Historically, scholars have often understood this as a warning against pagan practices of mourning.

But language scholar John Huehnergard and ancient-Israel expert Harold Liebowitz  argue that tattooing was understood differently in ancient times. Huehnergard and Liebowitz note that the appearance of the ban on incisions—or tattoos—comes right after words clearly related to mourning, perhaps confirming the original theory.

  1. And yet, looking at what’s known about death rituals in ancient Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, and Egypt, they find no references to marking the skin as a sign of mourning;
  2. They also note that there are other examples in Leviticus and Exodus where two halves of a verse address different issues;

So that could be the case here, too. What tattoos were apparently often used for in ancient Mesopotamia was marking enslaved people (and, in Egypt, as decorations for women of all social classes). Egyptian captives were branded with the name of a god, marking them as belongings of the priests or pharaoh.

But devotees might also be branded with the name of the god they worshiped. Huehnergard and Liebowitz suggest that, given the key role of the escape from Egyptian bondage in ancient Jewish law, the Torah originally banned tattooing because it was “the symbol of servitude.

” Interestingly, though, they write that there’s one other apparent reference to tattooing in the Hebrew Bible. Isaiah 44:5 describes the children of Jacob committing themselves to God: “One shall say, ‘I am the LORD’s’… Another shall mark his arm ‘of the LORD.

  1. ‘” Here a tattoo appears to be allowable as a sign of submission, not to a human master but to God;
  2. Ancient rabbinic debates produced a variety of different theories about the meaning of the prohibition on tattooing;

Some authorities believed that tattoos were only disallowed if they had certain messages, such as the name of God, the phrase “I am the Lord,” or the name of a pagan deity. Talmudic law developed around 200 CE says that a tattoo is only disallowed if it is done “for the purpose of idolatry”—but not if it’s intended to mark a person’s enslaved status.

What culture started tattoos?

Early and ethnographic tattoos – The earliest evidence of tattoo art comes in the form of clay figurines that had their faces painted or engraved to represent tattoo marks. The oldest figures of this kind have been recovered from tombs in Japan dating to 5000 BCE or older.

In terms of actual tattoos, the oldest known human to have tattoos preserved upon his mummified skin is a Bronze-Age man from around 3300 BCE. Found in a glacier of the Otztal Alps, near the border between Austria and Italy, ‘Otzi the Iceman’ had 57 tattoos.

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Many were located on or near acupuncture points coinciding with the modern points that would be used to treat symptoms of diseases that he seems to have suffered from, including arthritis. Some scientists believe that these tattoos indicate an early type of acupuncture.

  1. Although it is not known how Otzi’s tattoos were made,  they seem to be made of soot;
  2. Other early examples of tattoos can be traced back to the Middle Kingdom period of ancient Egypt;
  3. Several mummies exhibiting tattoos have been recovered that date to around that time (2160–1994 BCE);

In early Greek and Roman times (eighth to sixth century BCE) tattooing was associated with barbarians. The Greeks learned tattooing from the Persians, and used it to mark slaves and criminals so they could be identified if they tried to escape. The Romans in turn adopted this practice from the Greeks.

MORE: Is shoegaze the loneliest genre of music? ‘Stigma’ – now meaning a distinguishing mark of social disgrace – comes from the Latin, which means a mark or puncture, especially one made by a pointed instrument.

Elaborately-tattooed mummies have been found in Pazyryk tombs (sixth to second century BCE). The Pazyryks were formidable Iron-Age horsemen and warriors who lived on the grass plains of Eastern Europe and Western Asia..

Did Native Americans have tattoos?

An exhibit at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library exploring 300 years of tattooing in New York City begins with Native American tattoos and how the Indigenous Peoples of New York influenced the tattoo industry. “Native American tattoos are rich in artistry.

  • They also are rich in meaning,” explains a placard labeled “The Power of Tattoos” at the New York Historical Society;
  • “The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and other nations in what is now New York believed tattoos had healing powers, applying them over sore joints or broken bones;

Tattoos also were marks of protection, with symbols representing guardian spirits, or Manitous. Because everyone’s life story is unique, their tattoos were unique. ” Among the earliest items featured in the Tattooed New York exhibition are the New-York Historical Society’s Four Indian Kings mezzotints from 1710, which feature portraits of Mohawk and Mohican tribal leaders who traveled to London seeking military aid against the French and their Ojibwe allies.

[text_ad] “Gawkers lined London’s streets. Queen Anne held a reception at St. James’s Palace. Everyone in England, it seemed, wanted to glimpse the three Mohawks and one Mohican popularly known as the ‘Four Indian Kings,'” another section of the historical society’s presentation explains.

“To the British, the four chiefs were an exotic curiosity, simultaneously praised and scorned as ‘noble savages. ‘” The portraits of them are by John Verelst, those and later prints of the paintings are some of the earliest images showing Native American tattoos. Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow was a Maquas (or Mohawk) chief. This mezzotint from 1710 is one of the oldest items on display at the New-York Historical Society. The “Tattooed New York” exhibit has a number of representations of Native American tattoos. Visitors to the historical society can also see a 1706 pictograph by a Seneca trader that shows his distinctive serpent and bird tattoos, which were his personal signature.

Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow, who was chief of the Maquas (or Mohawks) is seen in the portrait with black linear patterns covering his chest and lower face. According to information presented in the exhibit, after the arrival of Europeans, the Iroquois, often “signed” documents by drawing their unique tattoos.

But, as the exhibit information points out, images of early Native Americans and their body art are seen through a European lens. Those images were often “skewed by an eagerness to sensationalize exotic ‘savages’ or embellished to excite readers and increase book sales,” notes a placard at the exhibit.

  • Early Native American tattoos were created by scratching or pricking the skin with sharpened bones, branches, or needles and then rubbing soot or crushed minerals into the wound;
  • Many Native American tattoos celebrated accomplishments;

While warriors’ tattoos were often featured not only on their bodies, but on the weapons they carried. Another early item on display at the historical society is a mid-18th century Ojibwe ball club. The carvings on this war club include a panther, three fish, a longer zigzag serpent design, and a tally of either engagements or those killed in battle. Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From This war club is one of the few items exhibited from the 1700s that shows an example of Native American tattoos. The designs on this were likely to have been on its owners body as well. Not only does Tattooed New York begin with Native American tattoos , it walks visitors through a timeline of body art aficionados—such as sailors and soldiers, society women, and “tattooed ladies”—and it examines how identity is expressed through tattooing today.

Scroll to Continue The exhibit also follows the evolution of tattoo technology, beginning with the pricking and poking techniques used for early Native American tattoos to machines, like the electric pen created by Thomas Edison in 1876.

Native influences can be seen throughout the exhibit, such as in Ruth Marten’s collection of Marquesan Heads from 1977. She borrowed her imagery from both Western and Polynesian traditions and set up a tattoo studio in her apartment. Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From Ruth Marten’s collection of Marquesan Heads are on display at “Tattooed New York”. She borrowed her imagery from both Western and Polynesian traditions. Other Native influences can be seen in Native American tattoos—though getting inked with a stereotypical Indian in a headdress will not win you any fans in Indian country, it continues to be popular, and was shown in the exhibit throughout the years. Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From This flash sheet from the 1920s shows popular tattoos drawn by Bob Wicks around 1930. Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From Flash sheets were portfolios of popular tattoos drawn by artists to help meet the increased demand for tattoos. Stereotypical Native American tattoos, like the woman in a headdress were popular and are seen throughout the exhibit. If tattooing started with the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, how did the practice of body art get to where it is today? Having a tattoo is becoming more and more mainstream.

The Indian in a headdress shows up on a number of flash sheets, which were used by 19th century tattoo artists to speed up the process. Customers could browse through flash sheets of pre-drawn artwork featuring simple designs.

Approximately 29 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo according to a 2015 Harris Poll , and there are more than 270 tattoo studios across just the five boroughs of New York City. According to the information provided in the exhibit, Captain James Cook introduced the Tahitian word tautau to England after traveling to the South Pacific in the 1700s, and many Americans discovered tattooing after reading Typee by Herman Melville, in which he describes his 1842 visit to Polynesia.

Tattooed New York begins and ends with some Native American tattoos and artwork. In 2013, the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, New York featured Indian Ink: Iroquois & The Art of Tattoos , and one of the final pieces shown in the New York City exhibit is a piece by Alex Jacobs, an ICMN contributor.

The piece, titled “Kanienkehake: People of the Flint” shows his fabric collage technique, a piece purchased by the Iroquois Indian Museum. Where Did The Word Tattoo Come From Alex Jacob’s “Kanienkehake: People of the Flint” on display at “Tattooed New York,” was also part of the “Indian Ink” exhibit at the Iroquois Indian Museum. The exhibition will be on display at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library in New York City through April 30..

What were tattoos originally used for?

On a fall day in 1991, two Germans hiking in the Alps near the Italian- Austrian border stumbled across what they initially believed to be a modern corpse frozen in the ice. Once the body was retrieved however, authorities discovered that it was anything but modern.

The mummy, nicknamed Ötzi after the valley where it was found, had survived in the ice to the ripe, old age of 5,300 years. Analysis of the remains showed that when Ötzi died, he was a 30 to 45 year old man, standing roughly 160 cm tall.

Do You Know Where the Word ‘Tattoo’ Comes From?

Mystery surrounds the exact circumstances of Ötzi’s death, although evidence suggests a violent end. That, however, is not the only secret Ötzi hides. Ötzi has over fifty lines and crosses tattooed onto his body – the earliest known evidence of tattooing in the world – most of them on his spine, knee and ankle joints.

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The locations of many of the markings are consistent with traditional Chinese acupuncture points, specifically those that are used to treat back pain and stomach upset. What is intriguing is that Ötzi lived roughly 2,000 years before the oldest generally accepted evidence of acupuncture, and well west of its purported origins in China.

X-rays revealed that Ötzi had arthritis in his hip joint, knees, ankles and spine; forensic analysis discovered evidence of whipworm eggs – known to cause severe abdominal pain – in Ötzi’s stomach. It is, therefore, possible that Ötzi’s tattoos did in fact play a therapeutic role, and that acupuncture has a slightly more complicated history than previously believed.

Before Ötzi poked his head through the ice, the earliest conclusive evidence of tattoos came from a handful of Egyptian mummies that date to the time of the construction of the great pyramids over 4,000 years ago.

Indirect archaeological evidence (i. statuettes with engraved designs that are occasionally associated with needles and clay discs containing ochre) suggests that the practice of tattooing may actually be much older and more widespread than the mummies would have us believe.

  1. Ethnographic and historical texts reveal that tattooing has been practiced by just about every human culture in historic times;
  2. The ancient Greeks used tattoos from the 5th century on to communicate among spies; later, the Romans marked criminals and slaves with tattoos;

In Japan, criminals were tattooed with a single line across their forehead for a first offence; for the second offence an arch was added, and finally, for the third offence, another line was tattooed which completed the symbol for “dog”: the original three strikes and you’re out!  Evidence suggests that the Maya, Inca and Aztec used tattooing in rituals, and that the early Britons used tattoos in certain ceremonies.

The Danes, Norse and Saxons are known to have tattooed family crests onto their bodies. During the crusades, some Europeans tattooed a cross on their hands or arms to mark their participation and indicate their desire for a Christian burial should they not return.

From the Tahitian “tatau” which means to mark or strike, the word tattoo refers to some of the traditional modes of application where ink is “tapped” into the skin by using sharp sticks or bone. Certain peoples in the Arctic however, have used a needle to pull carbon-embedded thread under the skin to create linear designs.

And still others have traditionally cut designs into the skin and then rubbed the incisions with ink or ashes. Modern electric tattoo machines are modeled on the one patented by New York tattoo artist Samuel O’Reilly in 1891, which itself is only slightly different from Thomas Edison’s electric engraver pen, patented in 1876.

The needles of a modern machine move up and down at a rate of between 50- 3000 vibrations per minute; they penetrate only about 1 mm below the surface of the skin to deliver pigments. Our bodies treat the injected pigments as non-toxic foreign elements that need to be contained.

So, certain types of cells in our bodies engulf the minute amounts of pigment. Once full, they move poorly and become relatively fixed in the connective tissue of the dermis, which is why tattoo designs do not generally change with time.

A pigment’s molecules are actually colorless. Those molecules though, are arranged into crystals in various ways such that colors are produced when light refracts off of them. The pigments that are used in tattoos are often made of metal salts, which are metals that have reacted with oxygen; this process is called oxidation and is exemplified by rusting iron.

  1. The pigment is held in a carrier solution to disinfect the pigments by inhibiting the growth of pathogens, to keep it evenly mixed and to facilitate its application;
  2. Most modern pigments are carried by alcohols, specifically methyl or ethyl alcohols, which are the simplest and most commonly used types;

The popularity of tattoos has continuously risen and fallen through time. Currently, the practice of tattooing is booming, and it is estimated that roughly one in every seven people in N. America – over 39 million people total – have at least one tattoo. Through time and around the world, the reasons for getting tattoos are numerous and varied.

They include religious purposes, for protection or as a source of power, as an indication of group membership, as a status symbol, as an artistic expression, for permanent cosmetics, and as an adjunct to reconstructive surgery.

And now, a new reason can be added to the list: Andrew Fisher, an American webpage designer, recently auctioned his forehead as ad space on eBay. It sold for over $37,000 and left Andrew with a snoring remedy logo tattooed (semi- permanently) on his head for a month.

Why do humans get tattoos?

Body art, body bling, self-graffiti, walking billboards, fashionable ink accessories. Each of these expressions depict the physical nature of the tattoo. What’s often NOT discussed, however, is the emotional side of tattoos. I vividly remember the first time I saw a “tramp stamp.

” A woman was reaching for something in the front row of a large auditorium and a few rows of men and women witnessed her walking artistry. Everyone had a reaction. And once she left the room, we all talked about it.

It was like group therapy. The responses ranged from “She’s definitely a party girl, probably drinks a lot, has a lot of sex and a rough childhood,” to “She’s probably really creative, edgy, a leader and an independent thinker. ” Some liked her more, some liked her less and many guys were more interested in her because of the tattoo.

Whatever the response, we were all intrigued, and each of us conjured up our own personal version of her story — all from the sight of a well-placed tattoo. In those days, tattoos were still controversial.

Now, they’re more accepted than ever. You could even call them “trendy. ” In the nightlife scene, tattoo artists are rapidly becoming a popular career choice. Sooner or later, we’re going to see a leather-clad, tattoo-sleeved, multi-pierced guy named Rocko at our kid’s career fair standing next to the “Be a DJ” booth.

Although tattoos have been around for more than 5,000 years (Egyptians used tattoos to differentiate peasants from slaves and social branding has been around a long time), ink art has really exploded in the last 25 years.

[1] Is it social branding? Tattoos are a conversation starter. Either there’s a story attached or a “skin”-showing session or an emotional response derived from the sight of ink art. And the emotional response from the sight of tattoos leads to a modern-day version of social branding.

“He must be tough. ” “She’s probably easy. ” “He’ll never get a corporate job. ” “She just wants to drink vodka tonics and dance on a speaker. ” Of course there are variables. In my opinion, the older you are, the less chance you’ll be forgiving of tattoos.

Neck and face tattoos are usually not as well-received as other locations no matter what your age (sorry, Big Mike). Where you put the tattoo, how may tattoos you have, what the tattoos is and the size of the tattoos all help shape the emotional response of the viewer.

And that observer could be anyone from a potential boss, a family member or a date. You’re incredibly naïve or in total denial if you think your tattoos aren’t going to have a significant positive or negative influence on people who don’t know you well.

Why Get Tattoos? People get tattoos for many reasons: for attention, self-expression, artistic freedom, rebellion, a visual display of a personal narrative, reminders of spiritual/cultural traditions, sexual motivation, addiction, identification with a group or even drunken impulsiveness (which is why many tattoo parlors are open late).

And now, according to some research studies , 15-38 percent of Americans have some type of long-term body art. What was once considered self-mutilatory behavior and a psychiatric problem has now become almost normative behavior.

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What Does Your Tattoo Mean? Some people mark themselves for life to remind them of past family members or ancient sayings or religious scriptures or names of their current family/love interest. Other people use tattoos to enhance their sexual prowess or feed their exhibitionist side, and many people use tattoos to visually promote their identity and/or group affiliation. Research on tattoos reveals some interesting findings:

  • Adults with tattoos have been shown to be more sexually active than controls without tattoos.
  • People with tattoos have been shown to be more likely to engage in more higher risk behaviors.
  • Women who get tattoos are more than twice as likely to get them removed as men.
  • In studying first impressions of people that have tattoos, researchers have found that avatars (neutral) with tattoos and other body modifications were rated as more likely to be thrill and adventure seekers, to have a higher number of previous sexual partners, and to be less inhibited than non-tattooed avatars. This study looked at general stigma associated with people sporting tattoos.
  • And another study showed both men and women had higher body appreciation, higher self esteem and lower anxiety right after getting new tattoos. Surprisingly, three weeks later men continued to have less anxiety but women had a sharp increase in anxiety that may be associated with concerns about body image.
  • And I’ve personally seen tattoo markings used as an endorphin release and substitute for addictive behavior. An individual addicted to pills was able to stop popping pills but then subsequently became addicted to getting body ink. So what does this mean? Our current society craves individuality and self expression. And now many people wear their artistic expression.

    1. “I stand for;
    2. ” Johnny Depp said, “My body is my journal and my tattoos are my story;
    3. ” Tattoos can visually reveal more about you or distract people from getting to know the real you;
    4. Some people hide behind their tattoos;

    We are having more trouble communicating with each other than ever before, as electronic communication will never replace face-to-face human contact. So, it’s not surprising that there’s a growing trend toward communication via body ink. We don’t have to talk, we just have to look.

    Our bodies have become the refrigerator magnets of quotes, sayings and reminders. Whether you like it or not, tattoos are growing in popularity. The long-term fear of being “marked for life” is being tempered by tattoo removal technology and people getting used to seeing tattoos.

    Personally, I chose not to have a tattoo (henna tattoos don’t count) because the beauty of life is that it’s unexpected and we change with our experiences. What we stand for and believe in at 18 is very different than 35 or 60. If we stood for one thing in life and it never changed, then we could all have “life script” tattoos (and face boredom on a regular basis).

    But we do grow and change. I appreciate the artistry of tattoos but also enjoy the mystery of learning about someone without being “visually influenced” to have a response. We all judge, and first impressions probably carry more weight than they should.

    Whatever your feelings are about tattoos, one thing is for sure: There’s definitely more than meets the eye. Reference: 1. Caplan J. (Ed). 2000. Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European & American History; Princeton N. , Princeton University Press For more by Reef Karim, D.

    What is the oldest known tattoo?

    When did US ban tattoos?

    In 1962, Massachusetts became one of the few states in the country to consider tattooing a “crime against the person,” and ban the practice except for medical purposes. The law took effect on March 12, 1962, five months after New York City imposed a similar prohibition.

    1. The New York City Board of Health believed that tattoo parlors were fueling an outbreak of hepatitis;
    2. At the time Massachusetts was not experiencing a hepatitis outbreak, but health officials believed that tattooing might lead to one;

    Over the years, tattoo artists and lawmakers made some lackluster attempts to challenge the statute, but nothing materialized from their efforts. The statute remained in effect until 2000 when the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts launched a successful court battle to overturn it.

    ACLU lawyer Harvey Schwartz made the novel argument that the art of making tattoos was protected as free expression under the First Amendment. The Suffolk Superior Court ruled that the Commonwealth’s public health interest in a ban on tattooing could better be served by licensing and regulation, which would ensure that tattooing is conducted under sanitary conditions.

    On January 31, 2001, the Cambridge Public Health Department enacted rules and regulations overseeing the practice of tattooing and body art in the city. The regulations were revised on July 1, 2003 pursuant to General Laws, Chap. 111, §31 for the granting of licenses to practice Body Art in the City of Cambridge. Last updated on January 31, 2020 .

    What are the 5 major types of tattoos?

    What is the oldest known tattoo?

    When did tattoos start in America?

    Tradition Unbound: Tattoos beyond Polynesia Tattoos are the mark of the colonized other: the difference between the colonizer and the colonized is in the texture of the skin. Marc Blanchard, Post-Bourgeois Tattoo As reports and images from European explorers’ travels in Polynesia reached Europe, the modern fascination with tattoos began to take hold.

    Although the ancient peoples of Europe had practiced some forms of tattooing, it had disappeared long before the mid-1700s. Explorers returned home with tattooed Polynesians to exhibit at world fairs, in lecture halls and in dime museums, to demonstrate the height of European civilization compared to the “primitive natives” of Polynesia.

    But the sailors on their ships also returned home with their own tattoos. Native practitioners found an eager clientele among sailors and others visitors to Polynesia. Colonial ideology dictated that the tattoos of the Polynesians were a mark of their primitiveness.

    Machinery, design, and color led to an all-American form of tattoo.

    In the United States, technological advances in machinery, design and color led to a unique, all-American, mass-produced form of tattoo. Martin Hildebrandt set up a permanent tattoo shop in New York City in 1846 and began a tradition by tattooing sailors and military servicemen from both sides of the Civil War. In England, youthful King Edward VII started a tattoo fad among the aristocracy when he was tattooed before ascending to the throne.

    1. The mortification of their skin and the ritual of spilling blood ran contrary to the values and beliefs of European missionaries, who largely condemned tattoos;
    2. Although many forms of traditional Polynesian tattoo declined sharply after the arrival of Europeans, the art form, unbound from tradition, flourished on the fringes of European society;

    Both these trends mirror the cultural beliefs that inspired Polynesian tattoos: to show loyalty and devotion, to commemorate a great feat in battle, or simply to beautify the body with a distinctive work of art. The World War II era of the 1940s was considered the Golden Age of tattoo due to the patriotic mood and the preponderance of men in uniform.

    • But would-be sailors with tattoos of naked women weren’t allowed into the navy and tattoo artists clothed many of them with nurses’ dresses, Native-American costumes or the like during the war;
    • By the 1950s, tattooing had an established place in Western culture, but was generally viewed with distain by the higher reaches of society;

    Back alley and boardwalk tattoo parlors continued to do brisk business with sailors and soldiers. But they often refused to tattoo women unless they were twenty-one, married and accompanied by their spouse, to spare tattoo artists the wrath of a father, boyfriend or unwitting husband.

    Today tattooing is recognized as a legitimate art form.

    Today, tattooing is recognized as a legitimate art form that attracts people of all walks of life and both sexes. Each individual has his or her own reasons for getting a tattoo; to mark themselves as a member a group, to honor loved ones, to express an image of themselves to others. With the greater acceptance of tattoos in the West, many tattoo artists in Polynesia are incorporating ancient symbols and patterns into modern designs.