A Short History of Tattoos

By | January 18, 2014

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Have you ever wondered what on earth made people start getting tattoos? The Polynesian word “ta”, means “to strike something”, while the Tahitian word “tatu” or “tatau” means “to mark something”. Some historians claim that tattoos go back 5000 years, while others say tattoos go back over 10,000 years. I think it is safe to say that tattoos have been around for a very long time.

Years ago, tattoos were used as marks of rank or status, religious reasons, decorative symbols for bravery, sexual lures, pledges of love, punishment, slavery and other reasons, far too many to mention. Today tattoos are more cosmetic than anything. People often get tattoos of their favorite football team, or other sports team, to show their loyalty as a fan.

People have been forced to get tattoos in many situations. During the Holocaust, some Jews held in concentration camps were forced to get a tattoo for identification purposes. It was a crime to deface an image of Jesus Christ, so European sailors would get tattoos of a crucifixion on their backs to prevent them from being flogged or whipped.

Tattoos are often placed on animals mainly for the purpose of proving ownership. In Australia, cats and dogs are actually given a tattoo of a specific symbol to show that they have been spayed or neutered. Some Veterinarians actually give tattoos to some animals to prevent them from getting sunburns, mainly on their noses.

Women have discovered cosmetic tattoos that actually aids them in their daily makeup routine. Women can actually get their eyeliner tattooed on, so that they never have to mess with it again. Not only that, it doesn’t smear or smudge. Eyeliner is not the only type of cosmetic tattoos women (or men) can get, they can also have their lips done so that they never have to put lipstick on again. Another cosmetic tattoo can be to cover up a skin discoloration.

In recent times, people just want to experience getting a tattoo, or think that they need to have one because it looks hot, or it makes them look tough. Lets face it, you used to mainly see tattoos on ex cons, or men coming out of the military, and now they are everywhere. You can no longer judge a book by its cover, although you shouldn’t have been doing that in the first place.

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