Clinical Name: DISAMBIGUATION
Root Word: TA TAU ; POLYNESIAN
Wayyyyy before man started painting on things; he used his body parts to portray his history, his emotions, religion and his culture. Ancient artists used berry juices, plant extracts and fish extracts, anything that had color, to create the palate for their body art. Who knows what tools they used to implant the ink in the skin. I bet that really hurt! Took real guts then too, to get "marked"!
Every culture and age has a history of TATTOOS. The Anhui of Ancient Japan, the Berbers of South Africa, Polynesians, Maoris, Mesoamerica, Philippines, early Thailand, Australian Aborigines and Mid Asians, pretty much all over the world people, very early in man time, have sported tattoos. There are no records of tattoos in North American, until sailors stated showing them off on their return from the South Pacific explorations, thus the word "tattoo" came from Ta tau and entered the English language and art world. Tattoos were, and still are, done with plant seeds and small plant pods and even small bird bones implanted under the skin in tattoo like designs in various African tribes..
Mummies unearthed and x rayed or unwrapped, sport all kinds of tattoo art, symbolizing their gods or families or cults, or tribes, or just art. Egypt is not the only place mummies are found, they are found in China, South and Central America, and the most artfully tattooed mummies are found in the kurgan burial mounds of the Scythian's. who dominated the Russian Steppes and surrounding areas 300 BC and before. These mummies have beautiful art covering their entire limbs.
The Iceman, found frozen and preserved in the Italian Alps, purported to be from 3300 BC, was a real cool Dude! He has 57 tattoos, all cartoon figures; he was his own comic strip! (He was mummified)
Tattoos have also been found on mummies from all over the world, depicting their rank, their gods, their family crest, etc. Quite obviously, there must have been some very talented tattoo artists available even then,
Today's Tattoo Art is a refined technique with some very sophisticated equipment available, or not. Maybe just needles and some ink will do too! Anything from high tech, masterful art work, to back alley botched distortions. Beautiful Technicolor to stark black and gray, what ever rocks your tattoo desire, or how much pain you can endure? I understand the colors take lots of visits to accomplish, lots of pain and lots of courage, a whole lot o ice to ease the pain!..
All walks of life and ethnicity, strive for body art as a mark of distinction, independence, or a symbol of rebelliousness, or just individuality; truck drivers, MMA fighters, bikers ,biker gangs, wrestlers, tough guys, good guys, bad guys, professional men, Samoan wrestlers, housewives, actresses, professional women, street walkers military, law enforcement, convicts, little kids, all seek to show their mark on their bodies for the whole world to see, or not, maybe tucked away in a private part making a secret statement.
Tattoos have been the bane of organized religion; Judaism, Muslim and Christianity think it a mark of paganism and a defamation of their God. Pagan religions did certainly have tattoos at the heart of their religious center as some cults and many gang cultures do today. Prison art is a way to show individuality or dominance, status, or clique you hang with. Prisoners are very creative in their tools and inks in creating their own body art, some beautiful, some profane, all statement making!
Tattooing is so intriguing that there was a very graphic movie based on the obsession of one tattoo artist for body possessing tattoos, the art was absolutely stunning, but the obsessive body covering of his lover was disturbing: "Tattoo" with Bruce Dern and Maud Adams.
There are several TV shows following the lifestyle of tattoo artists and their varied clients. Browse the web; there are all kinds of tattoo sites, cultish, profane, religious, and arcane, all dealing with the depths and needs of Tattoo Art. These sites also display pictures of some really beautiful art. On canvas they would grace the walls of art galleries and sell quickly.
There are very specific tattoos for military units, as identity and as distinction of battles fought, places deployed. Sailors (Navy) display their exploits and tributes to their ships, The Nazi's used tattoos as their heinous markings of their prisoners, these we need to unmemorialize!
Everyone has their own expressions in the Tattoo Art: World: Love,Beauty,Hate,Grotesqueness,Tribalism, Cartoonish, Sexism, Cultism, Religiousness::no subject is TABOO to TATTOO!
Enjoy the passing Body Art!