A tattoo is a design made under the skin with ink or other pigment. Usually decorative or symbolic. It’s a type of body modification.
The word “tattoo” got polynesian roots. Some give it older origins in the western world. The word “tatoo” discrebed the sound of the military drum.
• HISTORY OF TATTOO
At the beginning of the 1990’s a man is found in an ice coffin in italy. The resaerch show that he is 5300 years old. the proof of tattoo go back to 4000 bc. Dubbed “otzi” the iceman bear a cross behind his legs and a serie of lines at the bottom of his back. Basically 57 zones of his body are tattooed. Those marks seems to have a medical fonction rather than adornment. After otzi the most ancient tattoos are said to be egyptians. Found in thebes the wife of amunet was the priestress of hator. She lived between 2160 and 1994 bc. We can see dots and lines tatooed on her arms, legs and up the belly button. A second mummy identified as a dancer of the same period had designs tattooed onher foreamrs and chest. Once again we can think that tattoo wasn’t only aesthetical.
When the egyptians spread their empire tattoo spread with it. The greek, persian, and arab civilisation are seduced by these new art. Thousands years after tattoo has spread all around the road of silk from the south of china.
• TATTOO WORLDWIDE
The greeks used tattoo to communicate between spys, tattoo would establishe the hierarchy. The romans used it to mark slaves and criminals. The ainu people used it to show their social status. A woman to be married as a married woman is tattooed. This peole introduced tattoo injapan. The japanese would reject the religious meaning of tattoo only the graphic side prevail. The japanese style and technic is still nowadays a reference in the world of tattoo. From japan tattoo spread quicly to philipina and the pacific islands. At borneo the tradition is that women are tattooists. The designs show the social rank. The kyan women have delicate tattoos on their arms jewel like, whereas the dayak warriors got their hands tattooed when victorious. So tattoo is a mark of respect. It’s probably thanks to the polynesians that tattoo knows a rapid expension in the pacific island and new-zeland. The polynesians used tattoo to show their belonging to the tribal community, family, social rank. In new-zeland they create a new style of tattoo on the face called “moko” and still used nowadays. the polynesians contribute tot he geographical expension of tattoo thanks to their travels. Ttattoo moves to america following the exodus of the polynesian people and the siberian tribes; we konw now that the mayas, incas and aztec used tattoo in their religious rituals. In the western world the first british people use tattoo during ceremo,ies. Royal families of danemark and sweden got their coat of arms tattooed. At the 8th century the pope hadrien banned tattoo and every corporal marks sign of so called non civilised people. Non the less tattoo still spread in the british realm untill the invasion of the normands in 1066 who dispised tattoos. While it disapear from europe tattoo develops in japan. first it is used to mark criminals, repeat offender are marked witht he signs “dog” or “devil”. With the time the japanese people consider tattoo as an art. William dampher is the one who restore tattoo is the western world. He came back to london with a polynesian largly tattooed (the prince giolo) he was exposed in all fairs. A few years later the captain cook will restore tattoo too thanks to the legends and work of art he brought from his travels in the south pacific. Tattoo becomes trendy and spreand even in the high society. Edward VII and the tsar nicolas got tattooed.
• TECHNIC OF TATTOOING
To introduce the colored pigment under the skin each peole got it’s technic. In the pacific tattoo is made with a “rake” whom “teeth” are made with bones it is put on the skin and then beaten with a hammer. The inuits used a string full of coal to “knit” the design. The pigment came from coal in powder or burned bones, henna, khol, indigo etc… The invention of the electrical tattooing machine by O’rilley in 1891 is a revolution inthe art of tattooing, so tattoo enters it’s modern area.
• THE IMAGE OF TATTOO
In the XXth century tattoo loses it’s fame and because the studios are in ban districts. The practice is so badly seen that it even becomes clandestine but spread in some environments (military, motocycle). The 1960’s are fatal to tattoo in the us because of an epidemy of epatithis. In new-york tattoo becomes illegal for several years. Paradoxically it’s during this periode that the first parisian studio opens, the famous bruno at pigalle in 1963. At the end of the 1960’s lyle tuttle erase the bad reputatin of tattoo by tattooing stars, mainly women, like janis joplin. Nowadays tattoo reach it’s climax. It is well accepted and tattooist are considered as artists and respected as so!
Kustomtattoo tattoo in paris