A Brief History of My Tattoo

A Brief History Of The Traveller's Tattoo (In Iceland, At Least) - The Reykjavik Grapevine
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Tattooing in ancient times, while various in form, existed on every inhabited continent. Tattooing started to decline with the rise of the Roman Empire, when Emperor Constantine banned tattoos except as use for brands on criminals and slaves, according to an article by National Geographic. Warriors during the Crusades, in the 11th and 12th centuries, would mark themselves with the Jerusalem cross to ensure they would get a proper Christian burial if they died.

Japan also banned tattoos. The tattoo body suits that epitomize Japanese tattooing came about because of repressive laws that prohibited the lower classes from wearing ornate kimonos, and they would hide the tattoos under their clothes. The government outlawed tattoos in because the practice was viewed as rebellious.

The yakuza, the gangster class, kept tattooing alive as they embraced the body suits, for the art and because it was illegal. In Western cultures, tattooing entered its renaissance through fringe groups and soldiers and slowly entered the mainstream. Tattoos are becoming more widely accepted, and people today use tattoos as a representation of themselves, to tell their stories, share things they like, or to honor a loved one. Tattoos have also never been more diverse than they are now. With a melting pot of cultures and the availability of information and images from all corners of the world, there has been a marked increase in the number of styles in which tattoo artists specialize.

November 17 November 5 Between and , Japanese tattooing was only practiced by the ukiyo floating world subculture. Generally firemen, manual workers and prostitutes wore tattoos to communicate their status. Criminals were marked with symbols typically including crosses, lines, double lines and circles on certain parts of the body, mostly the face and arms. These symbols sometimes designated the places where the crimes were committed. In one area, the character for "dog" was tattooed on the criminal's forehead.

The Government of Meiji Japan , formed in , banned the art of tattooing altogether, viewing it as barbaric and lacking respectability.

Irezumi: Exploring the Ancient Techniques and Evolution of Traditional Japanese Tattoos

This subsequently created a subculture of criminals and outcasts. These people had no place in "decent society" and were frowned upon.

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They could not simply integrate into mainstream society because of their obvious visible tattoos, forcing many of them into criminal activities which ultimately formed the roots for the modern Japanese mafia, the Yakuza, with which tattoos have become almost synonymous in Japan. Despite a lack of direct textual references, tattooed human remains and iconographic evidence indicate that ancient Egyptians practiced tattooing from at least BCE. Tassie argues that it may be more appropriate to classify tattoo in ancient Egypt and Nubia as part of a larger Nile Valley tradition.

The most famous tattooed mummies from this region are Amunet, a priestess of Hathor , and two Hathoric dancers from Dynasty XI that were found at Deir el-Bahari.

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Ancient Egyptian tattooing appears to have been practiced on women exclusively; with the possible exception of one extremely worn Dynasty XII stele , there is no artistic or physical evidence that men were tattooed. Accounts of early travelers to ancient Egypt describe the tool used as an uneven number of metal needles attached to a wooden handle. Coptic tattoos often consist of three lines, three dots and two elements, reflecting the Trinity.

The tools used had an odd number of needles to bring luck and good fortune. Herodotus' writings suggest that slaves and prisoners of war were tattooed in Persia during the classical era. This practice spread from Persia to Greece and then to Rome. The most famous depiction of tattooing in Persian literature goes back years to a tale by Rumi about a man who is proud to want a lion tattoo but changes his mind once he experiences the pain of the needle.

NBA players, in case you were unaware, really, really like tattoos.

He learned about the practice, becoming influenced by the culture and tattooing style of that area. What would inspire you to get a tattoo? Maya Angelou. Eskimo women wore tattoos that, along with other facial decorations were considered to increase the feminine beauty. Are you a new user? German immigrant Martin Hildebrandt is believed to have opened the first tattoo shop in New York City in

In the hamam the baths , there were dallaks whose job was to help people wash themselves. This was a notable occupation because apart from helping the customers with washing, they were massage-therapists, dentists, barbers and tattoo artists.

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Tattooing has been a part of Filipino life since pre- Hispanic colonization of the Philippine Islands. The more famous tattooed indigenous peoples of the Philippines resided in north Luzon , especially among the Bontoc, Kalinga and Ifugao peoples.

follow link The Visayans of the southern islands were also heavily tattooed. Filipino tattooing was first documented by the European Spanish explorers as they landed among the islands in the late 16th century, and they called the natives Los Pintados The Painted Ones as they mistook the tattoos for paint. Before European exploration, tattooing was widespread, but conversion to Christianity greatly diminished the practice as heathen or low-class. As Lane Wilcken's Filipino Tattoos Ancient to Modern denotes, there are many similarities between the tattooing traditions of the Philippines and indigenous Polynesian designs — not only with their societal function and similar designs, but in the tools used to hand-tap them a needle or thorn on a stick, with a hammer to pound it into the skin.

While the most common modern term for indigenous tattoos is batok, an ancient Tagalog word for tattoos was tatak, extremely similar to the Samoan word tatau. The traditional male tattoo in Samoa is called the pe'a. The traditional female tattoo is called the malu. The word tattoo is believed to have originated from the Samoan word tatau. When the Samoan Islands were first seen by Europeans in three Dutch ships commanded by Jacob Roggeveen visited the eastern island known as Manua. A crew member of one of the ships described the natives in these words, "They are friendly in their speech and courteous in their behavior, with no apparent trace of wildness or savagery.

They do not paint themselves, as do the natives of some other islands, but on the lower part of the body they wear artfully woven silk tights or knee breeches. They are altogether the most charming and polite natives we have seen in all of the South Seas The ships lay at anchor off the islands for several days, but the crews did not venture ashore and did not even get close enough to the natives to realize that they were not wearing silk leggings, but their legs were completely covered in tattoos. In Samoa, the tradition of applying tattoo , or tatau, by hand has been unbroken for over two thousand years.

Tools and techniques have changed little. The skill is often passed from father to son, each tattoo artist, or tufuga, learning the craft over many years of serving as his father's apprentice.

A young artist-in-training often spent hours, and sometimes days, tapping designs into sand or tree bark using a special tattooing comb, or au. Honoring their tradition, Samoan tattoo artists made this tool from sharpened boar's teeth fastened together with a portion of the turtle shell and to a wooden handle. Traditional Samoan tattooing of the "pe'a", body tattoo, is an ordeal that is not lightly undergone.

It takes many weeks to complete. The process is very painful and used to be a necessary prerequisite to receiving a matai title; this however is no longer the case. Tattooing was also a very costly procedure. Samoan society has long been defined by rank and title, with chiefs ali'i and their assistants, known as talking chiefs tulafale.

The tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, typically conducted at the time of puberty, were 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 pain was extreme and the risk of death by infection was a concern; to back down from tattooing was to risk being labeled a "pala'ai" or coward. Those who could not endure the pain and abandoned their tattooing were left incomplete, would be forced to wear their mark of shame throughout their life.

This would forever bring shame upon their family so it was avoided at all cost.

A Brief History Of The Traveller's Tattoo (In Iceland, At Least) - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Samoan tattooing process used a number of tools which remained almost unchanged since their first use. It is almost two feet in length and made from the central rib of a coconut palm leaf. Ipulama is the cup used for holding the dye. The dye is made from the soot collected from burnt lama nuts. These tools were primarily made out of animal bones to ensure sharpness. The tattooing process itself would be 5 sessions, in theory.

These 5 sessions would be spread out over 10 days in order for the inflammation to subside. Christian missionaries from the west attempted to purge tattooing among the Samoans, thinking it barbaric and inhumane. Many young Samoans resisted mission schools since they forbade them to wear tattoos. But over time attitudes relaxed toward this cultural tradition and tattooing began to reemerge in Samoan culture. Tattooed mummies dating to c.

Their tattooing involved animal designs carried out in a curvilinear style. The Man of Pazyryk , a Scythian chieftain, is tattooed with an extensive and detailed range of fish, monsters and a series of dots that lined up along the spinal column lumbar region and around the right ankle. Some artifacts dating back 3, years from the Solomon Islands may have been used for tattooing human skin. Obsidian pieces have been duplicated, then used to conduct tattoos on pig skin, then compared to the original artifacts.

They found that the obsidian pieces, old and new, show similar patterns, suggesting that they hadn't been used for working hides, but were for adorning human skin. In Taiwan , facial tattoos of the Atayal people are called ptasan ; they are used to demonstrate that an adult man can protect his homeland, and that an adult woman is qualified to weave cloth and perform housekeeping.

Taiwan is believed to be the homeland of all the Austronesian peoples , [63] [64] which includes Filipinos , Indonesians , Polynesians and Malagasy peoples, all with strong tattoo traditions. This along with the striking correlation between Austronesian languages and the use of the so-called hand-tapping method suggests that Austronesian peoples inherited their tattooing traditions from their ancestors established in Taiwan or along the southern coast of the Chinese mainland.

Thai tattoos, also known as Yantra tattooing, was common since ancient times.

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Just as other native southeast Asian cultures, animistic tattooing was common in Tai tribes that were is southern China. Over time, this animistic practice of tattooing for luck and protection assimilated Hindu and Buddhist ideas. The Sak Yant traditional tattoo is practiced today by many and are usually given either by a Buddhist monk or a Brahmin priest.

The tattoos usually depict Hindu gods and use the Mon script or ancient Khmer script , which were the scripts of the classical civilizations of mainland southeast Asia. A Spanish expedition led by Gonzalo de Badajoz in across what is today Panama ran into a village where prisoners from other tribes had been marked with tattoos. The natives cut lines in the faces of the slaves, using a sharp point either of gold or of a thorn; they then fill the wounds with a kind of powder dampened with black or red juice, which forms an indelible dye and never disappears.

The Spaniards took these slaves with them. It seems that this juice is corrosive and produces such terrible pain that the slaves are unable to eat on account of their sufferings.