Our reasons for getting tattoos typically changes over time. Originally, we regularly get tattoos that hold meaning behind them. It’s not unusual to feel that the more ink we get, the less monumental each session is. For some, getting tattooed becomes second nature.
Many times, people get inked to honor someone or something. And it’s true what they
say, people usually grow addicted to the pain. Tattoo collectors get inked because there is an artist they feel compelled to get work from. Sometimes you and your bestie are simply bored and wind up in a tattoo shop.
The word “tattoo” comes from the Tahitian “tatu” which means “to mark something.” It is arguably claimed that tattooing has existed since 12,000 years BC. The purpose of tattooing has varies from culture to culture and its place on the time line. But there are commonalties that prevail form the earliest known tattoos to those being done on college students on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley.
Tattoos have always had an important role in ritual and tradition. In Borneo, women tattooed their symbols on their forearm indicating their particular skill. If a woman wore a symbol indicating she was a skilled weaver, her status as prime marriageable material was increased. Tattoos around the wrist and fingers were believed to ward away illness.
The earliest tattoos record can be found in Egypt during the time of the construction of the great pyramids (or much earlier). When the Egyptians expanded their empire across the Mediterranean; the art of tattooing spread as well. The civilizations of Crete, Greece, Persia, and Arabia picked up and expanded the art form and around 2000 BC tattooing spread to China.
Throughout history, tattoos have signified membership in a clan or society. Even today groups like the Hells Angels tattoo their particular group symbol. TV and movies have used the idea of a tattoo indication membership in a secret society numerous times. It has been believed that the wearer of an image calls the spirit of that image. The ferocity of a tiger would belong to the tattooed person. That tradition holds true today shown by the proliferation of images of tigers, snakes, and bird of prey.
Today, tattooing is more popular and accepted than it has ever been. All classes of people seek the best tattoo artists. This rise in popularity has placed tattooists in the category of “fine artist”. The tattooist has garnered a respect not seen for over 100 years. Current artists combine the tradition of tattooing with their personal style creating unique and phenomenal body art. With the addition of new inks, tattooing has certainly reached a new plateau.
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