Tattooing is an ancient art form that has been practiced by various cultures throughout history.
The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin to date is found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman,
dating to between 3370 and 3100 BC.This body, with 61 tattoos, was found embedded in glacial ice in the Alps.
Other tattooed mummies have been found in at least 49 archaeological sites, locations from Greenland, Alaska, Siberia,
Mongolia, western China, Egypt, Sudan, the Philippines and the Andes.
Evidence goes to the ancient Egyptians, where tattoos were often used to
mark the bodies of the deceased in order to aid in the identification of
the mummy in the afterlife. Tattoos were also popular among the upper classes,
and were used as a form of adornment and as a symbol of status.
The tattoos were typically made with ink that was derived from carbon and soot,
and were applied using a needle made from a sharpened reed. The oldest known
tattooed mummy is believed to be that of Amunet, a priestess of the goddess Hathor,
who lived around 2000 BCE. Her tattoos include images of the goddess Hathor and of the god Anubis.
The word "tattoo" is believed to have originated from the Polynesian word "tatau,"
which means to mark or strike.
The art of tattooing spread throughout the world, with various cultures developing
their own unique styles and techniques. In ancient China, tattoos were used to mark
criminals and were considered a form of punishment. In Japan, tattoos were traditionally
used by the criminal underworld and were associated with the yakuza.
In the West, tattooing was introduced by sailors and soldiers who had been tattooed
during their travels to the Pacific. Tattoos became popular among sailors and later among
soldiers, who used them to mark their rank and unit.
During the 20th century, tattooing experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly
in the United States. Tattoos became a form of self-expression and were no longer solely
associated with sailors, soldiers, and criminals. Artists such as Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins
and Don Ed Hardy helped to popularize the art of tattooing and helped to establish it as a respected art form.
Today, tattooing is a popular and widely accepted form of body art. It is estimated that
nearly 40% of Americans between the ages of 26 and 40 have at least one tattoo.
Tattooing has also become increasingly diverse, with a wide range of styles and
techniques available to suit the individual preferences of each person.
Tattooing has a long and rich history, with various cultures and communities
contributing to its development and evolution. From ancient Egypt to the modern day,
tattooing has been used to mark and decorate the human body,
and it is a art form that has stood the test of time.