History of Tattooing

Tattoo is a popular art of body modification nowadays and many people become tattoo artists themselves or just beautify their bodies with attractive and meaningful designs. There is a wide choice of tattoo inks, tattoo power supplies and all necessary equipment and tattoo stuff on the market. And if you are interested in tattooing, it would be interesting and useful for you to find out some facts about tattoo history.
The history of tattoo began over 5000 years ago. The word tattoo has two derivations- from the Tahitian word ‘tatau' (‘to mark something') and the Polynesian word ‘ta' (‘striking something'). First tattoos are said to appear accidently. An ancient man had a small wound, he rubbed it with a dirty of ashes and soot hand and after the wound was healed, the mark stayed.
We can make sure that tattooing existed in the ancient world by discoveries of present days. In 1991 the newspapers all over the world wrote about unique discovery- the frozen body of a five thousand year old tattooed man was found on a mountain between Italy and Austria. There are 57 tattoos on his skin- six straight lines 15 cm long above the kidneys, a cross on the inside of the left knee and his anklets were tattooed with numerous parallel lines.
In 1948 Russian archeologist discovered mummies dating from around 2400 years ago near the border of China and Russia. There were decorative designs and variety of animals tattooed on their bodies. It's believed that monsters and griffins had magical significance at that time and other tattoos reflected the status of the person.
There are many physical remains, works of art and written records relevant to Egyptian tattoos. Tattooing was restricted to Egyptian women and only those associated with ritualistic practice could get definite tattoo. The Egyptians were those who spread the tattooing practice throughout the world. By 2000 BC tattooing was widespread from Egypt and its nations to the south-east Asia.
Chinese dynastic history compiled in 297 AD contains the first writer record of Japanese tattooing. Japanese tattoo artists, called the horis, were masters who created imaginative designs full of perspective and colors.
The most skillful and intricate tattooing of the ancient world is Polynesian tattooing. Tattoo was the way to display the spiritual power of life force and any Polynesian man was covered with new and new tattoos through all his life until the body was totally covered.
Tattooing served Hawaiian people not only for distinction and ornamentation but to guard their spiritual well-being and health.
Traditional tribal tattooing is still practices on Borneo. Western people call the designs of Indonesian tattoos ‘tribal'.
Greek tattooing was taken from Persia and the Romans learnt tattooing from the Greeks. Many Roman criminals and slaves were also tattooed. Tattooing was common for soldiers, gladiators, convicts and facial tattoo was for emperors.
Native Americans widely practiced tattooing. Somewhere tattoos reflected social status, somewhere indicated group identity and marital status and somewhere showed outstanding warriors. Vikings, Englishmen and French people practiced tattoo in different times and for different reasons.
1846 was the year when the first permanent tattoo shop was settled up in New York city. Electric tattoo machine was invented in 1891 by Samuel O'Reilly. Nowadays there are variety of tattoo machines and all the tools needed for tattooing. They are available in different materials, shapes and designs. Anyone can find something special in tattooing and create his own unique tattoo design.