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A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment.


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Nikita Sidana

Nikita Sidana

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Tattooing has been used as a way of smuggling secret messages across enemy lines in times of war.

The 5th century BC Greek historian, Herodotus, records how Histiaeus of Miletus, who was being held against his will by King Darius of Susa, sent a tattooed secret message to his son-in-law, Aristagoras. Histiaeus shaved the hair of his slave and tattooed the message on to the man's head. The slave was told that the procedure would cure his failing eyesight. When the slave's hair had grown back sufficiently to hide the tattoo, he was sent to Aristagoras, who shaved his head and read the hidden message. The message instructed Aristagoras to begin a rebellion

Article: Amazing facts about tatto...
Source: Rmg

Secret messages

A Portrait of Poedua Poedua, the Daughter of Orio, b. circa 1758 by John Webber, 1777. The artist has shown the tattoos and jasmine flowers to imply both difference and personal adornment. The meaning of the tattoos is unclear to European eyes but may have marked either membership of a particular cult group or personal preference. Repro ID: BHC2957 ©National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Ministry of Defence Art CollectionTattooing has been used as a way of smuggling secret messages across enemy lines in times of war.

The 5th century BC Greek historian, Herodotus, records how Histiaeus of Miletus, who was being held against his will by King Darius of Susa, sent a tattooed secret message to his son-in-law, Aristagoras. Histiaeus shaved the hair of his slave and tattooed the message on to the man's head. The slave was told that the procedure would cure his failing eyesight. When the slave's hair had grown back sufficiently to hide the tattoo, he was sent to Aristagoras, who shaved his head and read the hidden message. The message instructed Aristagoras to begin a rebellion

Article: Amazing facts about tatto...
Source: Rmg

The world's most tattooed person

The world's most tattooed person is Tom Leppard from the Isle of Skye, Scotland, who has 99.9 per cent of his body covered with a leopard-skin design.

Guinness World Records states that the only parts of Tom's body that remain untattooed are the skin between his toes and the insides of his ears.

The claim to be the world's most tattooed woman is shared between Canadian Krystyne Kolorful and American Julia Gnuse. Both have 95 per cent of their bodies tattooed. Julia began to tattoo her body in order to disguise the effects of porphyria, a disease which can leave skin permanently scarred.

Article: Amazing facts about tatto...
Source: Rmg

Thirty-six percent of those ages 18 to 25, and 40 percent of those ages 26 to 40, have at least one tattoo, according to a fall 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center. (see pdf of tattoo poll numbers)

The National Geographic News stated in April 2000 that 15% of Americans were tattooed (or approximately 40 million people!)

Esquire Magazine estimated in March 2002 that 1 in 8 Americans was tattooed.

The Harris Poll done in 2003, estimated that fully 36% of those aged 25-29 had one or more tattoos. Another Harris Poll done in 2008 showed that same age group had dropped to 32% with one or more tattoos.

According to the American Society of Dermatological Surgery, they stated in 2005, that of all the people they treat with laser and light therapy, only only 6% are getting a tattoo removed.

A 2006 a study done by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that's almost one in four. And the survey showed that about 36% of Americans age 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo!

Make no mistake about it, the tattoo industry is hot property. There are an estimated 20,000 parlors operating in the United States, according to a U.S. News & World Report article, which said, on the average, an establishment is being added in the country every day. The article ranked tattooing as the sixth fastest growing retail venture of the 1990s, right behind Internet, paging services, bagels, computer and cellular phone service.

Article: Tattoo Facts & Statis...
Source: Tattoo Facts & Statistics...

Other health risks.
In addition to allergic reactions and the unknown long-term health effects from the metal salts and carrier solutions that make up tattoo inks, there are other health risks involved. Skin infections, psoriasis, dermatitis and other chronic skin conditions, and tumors (both benign, and malignant) have all been associated with tattoos. Due to the use of needles in tattoo application, there is also the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as tetanus, herpes simplex virus, staph, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and even Syphilis. And those with tattoos might not be able to get a life-saving MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test if they need one—some hospitals and testing locations will refuse to do an MRI on people with body tattoos due to the metal particles in the tattoo, which may cause a burning pain during the test.10

If you plan on having your tattoo removed, you should be aware that some of the pigments used (especially Yellow #7) are phototoxic and may break down into toxic chemicals in the body when removed with UV light or laser, common techniques used in tattoo removal. The toxic end-products eventually wind up in the kidneys and liver, adding to your total body burden.

Article: The Truth About Tattoos: ...
Source: The Truth About Tattoos: ...

Allergic reactions and skin infections can occur after tattooing. And though they may be coincidental, skin cancers, including melanomas, have been reported within tattoo sites, bearing very close watching. The FDA warns about the risk of tattoo parlors transmitting viruses like HIV and the cancer-causing hepatitis C. Because of this, blood banks typically ban donations from people who have been tattooed in the previous 12 months. The FDA also warns patients that if they have an MRI scan, their tattoos can swell or burn, presumably related to the metal in some inks.

Article: The Dangerous Art of the ...
Source: US News and World Report

The fact is, tattoo-lovers are a proud lot — they have consciously taken the decision to tattoo their bodies and would like to proudly declare that they are what they are. They are ordinary people like you and me, except that they have a strong sense of identity they have no intention of hiding. They are not scared of public opinion and would love to let others know what they believe in. And good for them! Over the centuries, instead of becoming an extinct practice, tattoos have gained in popularity — which only goes to prove that it has stood the test of time and is here to stay.

Article: The Psychology of Tattoos
Source: San Diego Magazine
Nikita Sidana

Nikita Sidana

30 Knowledge Cards 

People get tattoos for various ressons such as self expression, art or personal reasons.


Workplace tattoo policies vary among and within industries. But with many contemporary companies stressing commitments to diversity and inclusion, tattoos are becoming increasingly unproblematic across the board. Lax tattoo policies for blue-collar and art-related jobs aren’t shocking, but the increasingly tolerant outlook of frontrunners in corporate, educational and medical industries are more surprising.

Article: Tattoos No Longer A Kiss ...
Source: Forbes
Nikita Sidana

Nikita Sidana

30 Knowledge Cards 

Some companies only as their employees to cover their tattoos but do not discriminate against them.


in pacific cultures tattooing has a huge historic significance.
polynesian tattooing is considered the most intricate and
skillful tattooing of the ancient world.
polynesian peoples, believe that a person's mana, their spiritual
power or life force, is displayed through their tattoo.
the vast majority of what we know today about these ancient
arts has been passed down through legends, songs, and ritual
ceremonies. elaborate geometrical designs which were often
added to, renewed, and embellished throughout the life of the
individual until they covered the entire body.

in samoa, the tradition of applying tattoo, or ‘tatau’, by hand,
has long been defined by rank and title, with chiefs and their
assistants, descending from notable families in the proper birth order.
the tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, typically conducted at
the onset of puberty, were elaborate affairs and were a key part
of their ascendance to a leadership role.
the permanent marks left by the tattoo artists would forever
celebrate their endurance and dedication to cultural traditions.
the first europeans who set foot on samoan soil were members
of a 1787 french expedition. they got a closer look at the natives
and reported that ‘the men have their thighs painted or tattooed
in such a way that one would think them clothed,
although they are almost naked’. the mythological origins of
samoan tattooing and the extraordinary cross-cultural history
of tatau has been transported to the migrant communities of
new zealand, and later disseminated into various international
subcultures from auckland to the netherlands.

the hawaiian people had their traditional tattoo art,
known as ‘kakau’. it served them not only for ornamentation
and distinction, but to guard their health and spiritual well-being.
intricate patterns, mimicking woven reeds or other natural forms,
graced men's arms, legs, torso and face.
women were generally tattooed on the hand, fingers, wrists
and sometimes on their tongue.

the arrival of western missionaries forced this unique art form
into decline as tattooing has been discouraged or forbidden by
most christian churches throughout history.

new zealand
the maori of new zealand had created one of the most impressive
cultures of all polynesia. their tattoo, called ‘moko’, reflected their
refined artistry - using their woodcarving skills to carve skin.
the full-face moko was a mark of distinction, which communicated
their status, lines of descent and tribal affiliations. it recalled their
wearer's exploits in war and other great events of their life.

borneo is one of the few places in the world where traditional
tribal tattooing is still practiced today just as it has been for
thousands of years. until recently many of the inland tribes had
little contact with the outside world.
as a result, they have preserved many aspects of their traditional
way of life, including tattooing.
borneo designs have gone all around the world to form the
basis of what the western people call ‘tribal’.

india / thailand
hanuman in india was a popular symbol of strength on
arms and legs. the mythical monk is still today one of the
most popular creations in thailand and myanmar.
they are put on the human body by monks who incorporate
magical powers to the design while tattooing.
women are excluded because monks are not allowed to be
touched by them and because thais believe women do not
need the extra boost as they are already strong enough on
their own.

in africa, where people have dark skin, it is difficult to make
coloured tattoos as we know them.
but they want to be tattooed anyway, so they have developed
another technique - they make scarifications (this is not really
tattooing, but it is related to tattooing). made by lifting the skin a little,
and making a cut with a knife or some other sharp thing
special sands or ashes were rubbed in to make raised scars
in patterns on the body, it can be felt like braille lettering...
these patterns often follow local traditions.

ancient greece and rome
the greeks learnt tattooing from the persians.
their woman were fascinated by the idea of tattoos as
exotic beauty marks.
the romans adopted tattooing from the greeks.
roman writers such as virgil, seneca, and galenus reported that
many slaves and criminals were tattooed.
a legal inscription from ephesus indicates that during the early
roman empire all slaves exported to asia were tattooed with the
words ‘tax paid’.
greeks and romans also used tattooing as a punishment.
early in the fourth century, when constantine became roman emperor
and rescinded the prohibition on christianity, he also banned tattooing
on face, which was common for convicts, soldiers, and gladiators.
constantine believed that the human face was a representation of the
image of god and should not be disfigured or defiled.

the celts
were a tribal people who moved across western europe in times
around 1200 and 700 B.C. they reached the british Isles around
400 B.C. and most of what has survived from their culture is in
the areas now known as ireland, wales and scotland.
celtic culture was full of body art.
permanent body painting was done with woad, which left a blue
design on the skin. spirals are very common, and they can be single,
doubled or tripled. knotwork is probably the most recognized form
of celtic art, with lines forming complex braids which then weave
across themselves. these symbolise the connection of all life.
step or key patterns, like those found in early labyrinth designs,
are seen both in simple borders and full complex mazes.
much in the way that labyrinths are walked, these designs are
symbolic of the various paths that life’s journey can take.

central and south america
in peru, tattooed inca mummies dating to the 11th century
have been found. 16th century spanish accounts of mayan tattooing
in mexico and central americareveal tattoos to be a sign of courage.
when cortez and his conquistadors arrived on the coast of mexico
in 1519 they were horrified to discover that the natives
not only worshipped devils in the form of statues and idols,
but had somehow managed to imprint indelible images of these
idols on their skin. the spaniards, who had never heard of tattooing,
recognized it at once as the work of satan.
the sixteenth century spanish historians who chronicled the
adventures of cortez and his conquistadors reported that tattooing
was widely practiced by the natives of central america.

north america
early jesuit accounts testify to the widespread practice of
tattooing among native americans.
among the chickasaw, outstanding warriors were recognised
by their tattoos. among the ontario iroquoians, elaborate
tattoos reflected high status. in north-west america,
inuit women's chins were tattooed to indicate marital status
and group identity.
the first permanent tattoo shop in new york city was settled up
in 1846 and began a tradition by tattooing military servicemen
from both sides of the civil war. samuel o'reilly invented the electric
tattooing machine in 1891.

Article: history of tattoos
Source: history of tattoos

Bronze Age

In 1991, ‘Otzi the Ice Man’ made the headlines of newspapers all over the world when his frozen body was discovered on a mountain between Austria and Italy. This is the best preserved corpse of that period ever found. The skin bears 57 tattoos: a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous parallel lines on the ankles. For centuries the Berbers in mountainous regions of North Africa used this kind of therapeutic tattoo to treat rheumatic pains. Anthropologists believe a traditional healer made incisions in Otzi’s skin on the afflicted areas, placing medicinal herbs in the wound which were burnede with the point of a heated metal instrument. The charred residue was incorporated in the resulting scar. An examination of Otzi’s tattooed skin tissue revealed that the scares to contain carbon particles. Probably a shepherd or hunter, he was middle aged at the time of his death. The copper ace found with him suggests he was a man of some distinction. Otzi, named after the Oztal where he was found, lived 5,300 years ago. He was probably murdered as an arrowhead was found in his back and his body shows traces of cuts and deep bruising. Encased in ice for thousands of years, Otzi and the objext found with him are remarkably well preserved.

Pazyryk Culture

In 1948 – just over 200 kilometers North of the borders between Russia and China – Russian archeologist Sergei Rudenko began excavating a group of tombs, or Kurgans, in the high Altai mountains. At this site mummies, that date from around 2,400 years ago, were excavated. On their bodies were a wide array of tattoos said to represent various indigenous and mythological animals. Amongst them were griffins and monsters that were thought to have a magical significance yet some of these kinds of elements are believed to be purely aesthetic, decorative or ornamental. The tattoos of these mummies, when viewed together or as a whole piece, were believed to reflect the status of the individual bearing them.


The earliest evidence of tattooing in Japan is found in clay figurines with painted or engraved faces representing tattoos. The oldest of these clay figurines have been recovered from tombs dated to 3,000 BCE or indeed before this time. Numerous other such figurines have been found in various tombs dating from the 2nd and 3rd millennia BCE. These figurines served as ‘stand-ins’ or substitutes for living individuals who symbolically accompanied the dead on their journey into the afterlife. It is commonly held that these tattooed marking held strong spiritual significance. The very first written record of the Japanese practicing the art of tattooing is found within a Chinese dynastic history compiled around 297 CE. The Japanese were interested in he art mostly for aesthetic or decorative uses – in contrast to their earlier spiritual significance. The Horis – the Japanese tattoo masters – were the undisputed experts of tattooing in their time. Their use of colors, perspective and imaginative designs moved the practice in a completely different direction. The classic Japanese tattoo is a full body suit.

Article: The History Of Tattooing
Source: The History Of Tattooing

What function did these tattoos serve? Who got them and why?

Because this seemed to be an exclusively female practice in ancient Egypt, mummies found with tattoos were usually dismissed by the (male) excavators who seemed to assume the women were of "dubious status," described in some cases as "dancing girls." The female mummies had nevertheless been buried at Deir el-Bahari (opposite modern Luxor) in an area associated with royal and elite burials, and we know that at least one of the women described as "probably a royal concubine" was actually a high-status priestess named Amunet, as revealed by her funerary inscriptions.

And although it has long been assumed that such tattoos were the mark of prostitutes or were meant to protect the women against sexually transmitted diseases, I personally believe that the tattooing of ancient Egyptian women had a therapeutic role and functioned as a permanent form of amulet during the very difficult time of pregnancy and birth. This is supported by the pattern of distribution, largely around the abdomen, on top of the thighs and the breasts, and would also explain the specific types of designs, in particular the net-like distribution of dots applied over the abdomen. During pregnancy, this specific pattern would expand in a protective fashion in the same way bead nets were placed over wrapped mummies to protect them and "keep everything in." The placing of small figures of the household deity Bes at the tops of their thighs would again suggest the use of tattoos as a means of safeguarding the actual birth, since Bes was the protector of women in labor, and his position at the tops of the thighs a suitable location. This would ultimately explain tattoos as a purely female custom.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Early Tattooing Methods
An amazing variety of tattooing methods developed in different cultures. In North and South America, many Indian tribes routinely tattooed the body or the face by simple pricking, and some tribes in California introduced color into scratches. Many tribes of the Arctic and Subarctic, mostly Inuit, and some people in eastern Siberia, made needle punctures through which a thread coated with pigment (usually soot) was drawn underneath the skin. In Polynesia and Micronesia, pigment was pricked into the skin by tapping on a tool shaped like a small rake.

The Maori people of New Zealand, who are world famous for their tattooing, applied their wood carving technique to tattooing. In the moko style of Maori tattooing, shallow, colored grooves in distinctive, complex designs were produced on the face and buttocks by striking a small bone-cutting tool (used for shaping wood) into the skin. After the Europeans arrived in the 1700s, the Maori began using the metal that settlers brought for a more conventional style of puncture tattooing.

Article: History of Tattooing
Source: History of Tattooing

In the past, tattoos had little acceptance of the American public, but it was difficult to express too much negativity when military it was difficult to express too much negativity when military personnel would return home from serving overseas with the names personnel would return home from serving overseas with the names of loved ones emblazoned on their arm. of loved ones emblazoned on their arm. To most Americans during this time period, the word “tattoo” was To most Americans during this time period, the word “tattoo” was synonymous for those outside the main stream of America. It was a synonymous for those outside the main stream of America. It was a mind set of undesirables from gang members like the Hells Angles, mind set of undesirables from gang members like the Hells Angles, Bandidos, to the movie Easy Rider. Bandidos, to the movie Easy Rider.

Article:   Microsoft PowerPoint - Th…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal
Nikita Sidana

Nikita Sidana

30 Knowledge Cards 

Only recently have people become more accepting of tattoos


Beginning with the counterculture movement of the 1960s, tattooing has become increasingly mainstream. It has been popularized by celebrities, including actors, musicians, and athletes, who openly wear their sometimes numerous tattoos. A 2003 study estimated that 16 percent of the U.S...

Article: Tattooing
Source: Encyclopedia of Sex and G...

History In recorded history, the earli est tattoos can be found in Egypt during the time of the construction of the great pyramids (It undoubtedly started much earlier). When the Egyptians expanded their empire, the art of tattooing spread as well. The civilizations of Crete, Greece, Persia, and Arabia picked up and expanded the art form. Around 2000 BC tattooing spread to China. It is arguably claimed that tattooing ha s existed since 12,000 years BC. Tattooing has been a Eurasian practice at least since Neolithic times. Mummies bearing tattoos and dating from the end of the second millennium BCE have been discovered in Xinjiang, West China. 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.

Article:   body_and_society.pdf
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Tattooing is a process of creating a permanent or semipermanent body modification that transforms the skin. The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian tatau, which means "to mark something"; it is also hypothesized that the term comes from the sound the tatau sticks make when clicking together to mark the skin with ink. Tattooing is a process of puncturing the skin and depositing pigments, usually indelible ink, by a variety of methods beneath the skin to create a desired design or pattern...

Article: Tattoos
Source: Encyclopedia of Clothing ...