Tattoo Design Gallery Biography
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The art of tattoo is ancient. It is hard to say when the man began to apply tattoo images to his skin. This kind of art was invented in ancient times in different parts of the world almost simultaneously. However, it is well known, that the history of tattoo images application can be counted from not less than 60 thousand years ago.
The most ancient tattoos have been discovered during the excavations of the Egyptian pyramids. And now we have quite positive knowledge, that in ancient Egypt tattoo pictures were applied. Even more, we have physical proof of tattoo application, that is visible on tattooed mummies of Egypt of that time. The age of discovered mummies is almost four thousand years ago, but the tattoo images, that are residing on their skin, are still clearly visible. We can bravely suppose, that in Egypt tattoos were applied only to the skins of the rich and famous people, including pharaohs and their families.
The scientists say that the tattoos appeared a lot earlier, in the times of ancient people, where tattoo pictures were not only the mean of decoration, but were considered to be the sign of totem, tribe and told a lot about social position of the applicant and also were known to possess magic forces.
As for the reasons for their appearance, here we also don’t have any clear information. According to one theory – it is a progress from every other natural destruction of the skin, that was accidently got by people of the Stone Age. The bruises and wounds gathered together in one custom looking scar and this was very good for the bearer, because it told people a lot about his success as a hunter and brave warrior. The ancient families over the time became bigger and bigger and gathered together into small organized alliances, that’s why there was a need to apply special marks to skin, that made a certain sense inside a certain alliance.
Indian tribes of Polynesia and Indonesia, where there has been common practice for tattoo image application, gave the art of tattoo from generation to generation. Almost every aspect of life of those people has a certain connection with tattoos – from the moment they are born and until their death. There is no part of the bodies of those people, where local tattoo artists didn’t apply their masterpieces.
More of it, tattoos are closely connected with transitional rituals – the initiation of children to adult males or in transition into another world from this life. For example, the Diak tribes believed, that in local paradise everything will begin to gain new qualities that are opposite to those on earth – the white will become black and the sweet – bitter and so on. Thus the Diak tribes always used dark colors in their tattoos.
Having changed their appearance after death, the tattoos became shining and full of light. This light was quite enough to make a successful transition of their bearer through the dark abyss between paradise and earth.
The history of tattoos has a lot of interesting facts to speak about. We should pay a separate close attention to the fact that different peoples thought tattoo images to possess different magical attributes – they could easily shield adult persons during the hunting and wars, they protected children from the wrath of their parents and protected old people from different diseases. But the magic of tattoo was applied not only among savages. In 18-19 century the British sailors applied big crosses on their backs because they believed that such a thing can save them from physical punishment that was rather widely spread in English fleet. Among Arabian people the most useful and powerful talisman was considered to be the tattoo pics containing some quotations and famous words from Koran. It is necessary to underline, that this kind of tattoo images certainly increased the social status of its bearer. However, in some situations tattoo image design could even be the punishment. For example, in one Japanese province when the person committed a crime for the first time, the tattoos were applied to their head. Usually such tattoos were represented by lines – each line for each crime.
The art of tattoo in Japan was born as well long ago and was constantly evolving up to our days and developed into the huge branch of the modern style of the artistic tattoo, that is known everywhere nowadays as Japanese style. The traditional ancient Japanese kinds of tattoo are the Koi carps and different flowers. However, sometimes people often think about Japanese dragons, samurais and geishas to be ancient, but in reality they appeared quite a lot later. It is necessary to say that in Japan, as well as in some other countries, the mechanism of tattoo application by hand, without any use of devices, was preserved.
Also in Japan such tattoos as sacred animals and spirits, such as dragons, tigers, carps, were widely applied. As a result, the composition in the shape of ENU hieroglyph was created. The meaning of this hieroglyph was “a dog”. In ancient China there was one of the most wide spread punishments in the shape of the tattoo on the face. Usually such tattoos were applied to servants or captured people and this made their escape almost impossible. It is necessary to say that Roman and Greek people used different image tattoo designs for almost the same purposes. Later, the conquerors from Spain continued this practice in Mexico and Nicaragua.
Some pre-Slavic tribes als used different stamps for tattoo application. Usually they were in the form of certain presses, created with the elements of the ornament. Such presses allowed to cover the whole body with the carpet-like ornament, that was widely used for the magical rituals of fertility cult.
In modern times tattoos in different countries can mean different things, and this can be applied also to the same-looking tattoos. In ancient times, and in modern times tattoos always were created to make a certain explanation. Such types of tattoo image applications, as travelers tattoos, prison tattoos, war tattoos and so on, began to exist. Each tattoo meant that its applicant made this or that deed: for example, made a round the world trip, is a thief, was at military service in these or those forces and so on. However in the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century there evolved such thing as artistic tattoo designs. Such tattoo pictures are applied only for the purpose of the beauty and does not bear any certain meaning. The people who began applying such image tattoo designs to their skins, soon understood that in society nobody understands them because the society continued to think that the tattoo has to have a certain meaning and also was not used to such now mean of beautifying. It was very hard especially for the people of former USSR, where the young generation encountered with non-understanding from the Soviet conservative people, where tattoo was considered the attribute of only criminal structures.