A Brief History Of Tattoo Essay

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A Brief History Of Tattoo
The art of Tattoo has been around for many thousands of years.The styles and reasons for it have varied from individual to individual as they have from society to ...
The art of Tattoo has been around for many thousands of years.The styles and reasons for it have varied from individual to individual as they have from society to society.Some tattoos were done for simple adornment, others done for religious beliefs,and others still for reasons only their owners will understand.Tattooing has existed in one form or a another across the globe since before recorded history , and the popularity of this unique form of expression
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title: A Brief History of Tattoo type: Research Paper body: The art of Tattoo has been around for many thousands of years.The styles and reasons for it vary from individual ...
will most likely continue for centuries to come.Although the basic concept of tattoo has been a constant throughout the history of mankind the styles and reasons for it have evolved along with mans own evolution. Five thousand years ago,a man fell dead on the slopes of the Italian Alps.Five thousand years later when his well preserved body was discovered,something remarkable was found.Across his back and behind both knees were several simple line tattoos.The significance to
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these tattoos , if there was any other then to decorate the body, are unknown.Some speculate that they were done for medicinal purposes.The pigments used may have been a certain type of berry know to have curative effects for different ailments. (1,3) The oldest tattooed mummy on record is the Lady Amunet,who was a priestess of the Goddess Hathor.She lived in Thebes around 2160 B.C..Her tattoos consisted of curling blue lines and dots scattered across
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most of her body.Historians dont know if there were specific reasons or meanings associated with the markings themselves,or the placement,however, the current theory is that they are somehow related to a hieroglyphic image of a woman covered in tattoos.These images of tattooed women , found in the tombs of Kings , are known as the Brides of the dead.It was thought that these brides of the dead would lead the dead Kings to the after
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life and there rejuvenate them.Amunet , perhaps,was a living representation of this religious belief.Eventually Egyptian tattooing began to move past simple abstract symbols and into more representational art.The only specific design found,was that of the God Bes.Bes protected the home,everything in it,and also women who were giving birth.Done as a simple outline,this tattoo has been found on the thighs of dancers mummified bodies.(1,5) The ancient Romans were vehemently against marking the body in any way.The
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belief being that we are created in Gods image and to desecrate that was sacrilege .In Rome at this time,tattoos were grounds for banishment.Further more Romans used tattoos in order to brand criminals. However,while fighting on foreign fronts Roman soldiers encountered warriors of the British Isles who wore tattoos as a badge of honor.Perhaps in admiration or sympathy with these fierce foes, these Roman soldiers adopted the practice of tattoo.As these Roman soldiers returned
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home the market for tattoos grew in the heart of Rome.Doctors,whose tools could be adapted to the practice of tattooing quickly took up the art and began to perfect the trade, becoming tattoo artists in their own right. (4) Here we begin to see how the individual has always persued the tattoo even though it runs counter to the beliefs and values of the society in which they live.This was never more true then in
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the early days of Christianity.It was at this time that tattoos were forbidden under the guise of religion .Thou shalt not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead,nor print any marks upon you Leviticus 19:28.Despite this, many early Christians had themselves tattooed with a cross to signify their permanent allegiance to Christ.Some of the power of a tattoo comes from its permanence once placed on the body.If found by the Romans,these early
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tattooed Christians would surly be put to death. In 325 A.D. tattoos again came under fire as Emperor Constantine took up Christianity.The pagan Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire.Constaninte decreed the body sacred and was not to be defiled by man.This effectively drove tattooing under ground.By the 4th century tattooing was nearly non existent in western society. (3,4) Tattoo carries a radically different meaning from one culture to the next.We see this clearly in
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a sect of Egyptian Christians called the Copts.The Copts continued to tattoo their inner wrists with small crosses.This was the beginning of some of the most elaborate religious tattoos ever seen. (3) During the Holy Wars of the 11th and 12th century warriors often marked themselves with the Jerusalem Cross,fearing that if they died in battle the cross would mark them for a proper Christian burial.Once the Crusades were over the practice of tattoo largely
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disappeared in the west once again. (3) The impulse to tattoo the body is universal and finds expression in every culture.Japan may have had the most complete and exotic of devotion to tattoos.The art flourished in Japan mainly do to a repressive government edict allowing only the royal and wealthy to wear elaborately decorated kimonos. The merchant class began to aquire tattoos. Full and elaborate body suits were the style.The only parts of the body
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not tattooed were the face,hands,and the 3 - 4 inch seam
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