Tattoos Past and Present

by on 01/19/2009 in History, People

TechJaws is a technology news site aimed at the general public, particularly at the technology-enthusiast, but today we are mixing it up little. This blog comes from Janet T, our first guest post. We hope you enjoy this post and share your comments.

What is a tattoo? A tattoo is a permanent marking made by inserting ink into the layers of skin to change the pigment Tattoofor decorative or other reasons. Other types of tattoos include Henna Art from Henna Artisans. Henna tattoos are also known as Mehndi. It is an ancient Indian body art. Used in creating intricate ethnic or contemporary designs and exotic patterns on various parts of the body. It’s rationally applied to the hand and the feet of women. Henna is completely natural, non-permanent and painless.

Once a taboo practice largely confined to sailors and street hoodlums, tattooing has evolved into a highly prized fashion product. Tattooing doesn’t discriminate as it’s popular among all types of people.

The word “tattoo” is from the Samoan word tatau, meaning “open wound”. Englishmen mispronounced the word tatau and borrowed it into popular usage as tattoo. Sailors on the voyage later introduced both the word and reintroduced the concept of tattooing to Europe.

Tattoos are no longer just an art. People of all ages and from all over the world have their own meaning in tattoos. They were once associated with gangs, now in this modern age tattoos are done between friends sharing common bonds and by individuals expressing their own uniqueness.

Early Beginnings:

Tattooing has been a Eurasian practice at least since Neolithic times. Ötzi the Iceman, dating from the fourth to fifth millennium BCE, was found in the Ötz valley in the Alps and had approximately 57 carbon tattoos consisting of simple dots and lines on his lower spine, behind his left knee, and on his right ankle.

Tattooing in Japan is thought to go back to the Paleolithic era, some ten thousand years ago. Various other cultures have had their own tattoo traditions, ranging from rubbing cuts and other wounds with ashes, to hand-pricking the skin to insert dyes.

Tattooing in the Western world today has its origins in Polynesia, and in the discovery of tatau by eighteenth century explorers. The Polynesian practice became popular among European sailors, before spreading to Western societies generally.

Body art has become more popular trend today that there’s a reality show based on body art called: Miami Ink.


Never get a tattoo that displays the name of your significant other as tattoos are permanent and not all relationships are. This could be very costly to remove with cosmetic surgery.

4 Responses to “Tattoos Past and Present”

  1. sparky

    Jan 19th, 2009

    Thanks for the change up Frank…both subject and author…it was refreshing (especially for me, the technologically challenged!) At least I have a good resource :) lol, Spark

    • Frank J

      Jan 19th, 2009

      Yes, I thought it would be refreshing to have a bit of a change.

  2. sparky

    Jan 19th, 2009

    Did I mention that I have 4 already and I’m not in a gang, a parolee or anything of that sort? ;-) I have another one in mind, but I’m running out of stratigically subtle locations…

    • Frank J

      Jan 19th, 2009

      Than you’re safe and just a person that loves body art :)