Tattoo art, resembling as symbols, signatures or religious signs, has been around for thousands of years. Humans have been marking their bodies with tattoos for beauty, for showing bravery or even some kind of punishment and torture. Reaching down below the roots of tattoo arts will take us back in time, through the world of ancient Egyptian and many more. Want to know more about the history of tattoo art? Stay tuned and let us show you.
1. The first evidence of tattoo art
It’s believed that tattoos were found thousands of years ago, even back in ancient Egypt. There is scientific evidence of this theory since 3 Egyptian mummies were found with some form of permanent marks on their bodies. Furthermore, small bronze implements which are identified as tattoo tools discovered in Northern Egypt dated to 1450 B.C also show that tattoo art is a thing back in the day.
However, the oldest evidence of tattoo is believed to be in the 3370-3100 B.C, which is called Otzi the Iceman. He is naturally mummified and was discovered in 1991, with 61 tattoos in various places on his body. A close examination reveals that most of those tattoos are created by fireplace ash.
2. Traditional tattoo art practices
While the world’s first tattoos known belong to Otzi, many other civilizations have shown to practice tattooing reveals tattoo art rich history throughout the entire world. During that time, most tattoos were found in Alaska, Mongolia, Greenland, Egypt, China, Russia, and even the Philippines.
In different eras and civilizations, tattoo art had different purposes and meanings. For example, in ancient China, tattoos were referred to folk heroes and even to mark criminals. Meanwhile, in Egypt, tattoos on mummified bodies are believed to be a decoration for beauty purposes. In ancient Greece and Rome during the 5th century B.C were used mainly on criminals, prisoners, and slaves as well. There is also evidence of soldiers having tattoos and this practice even continued until the 9th century.
3. How tattoo art went famous through times
Even until the middle of the 20th century, tattoos were not very popular or accepted by society. Most of the people having tattoos during this time were in the entertainment industry in America. One of the most famous people with full-body tattoo art during the 1800s was John O’Reilly, he was famous as the “Tattooed Irishman”. Another popular one is Emma de Burgh, a tattooed lady who worked in the entertainment industry in Europe. Most of her tattoo designs were religious related, including The Last Supper and The Calvary.
Since then, throughout the 20th century, tattoo art had begun to bloom. The evolution had created a wide range of styles and iconic design. At this time, tattoos are mostly used to tell a personal story, a mark of belonging and commitment. The 1970s saw an increase in tattoos popularity, when tattoo art was now mainstream and people began getting a tattoo for decorative purposes. Full sleeve, colorful tattoos with many more details were gaining popularity on young people.
Tattoo art then evolved more and more every day, creating various iconic, timeless pieces that we’re all love nowadays.
Celebrities play a huge, vital part of tattoo trends and making tattoo art more socially accepted in modern times. During the 2000s, we can see the booming effect of tribal tattoos, Chinese lettering, realistic and even mini tattoos began to have their places in audience hearts. Tattoos are now considered fashionable, trendy and we can ink whatever we want without thinking of judgemental and social acceptance.
Tattoo art is an interesting part of every culture. It’s fascinating to know how far tattoo arts have gone through to achieve its place today. There is still so much more amazing information waiting for us to find out, so stay tuned with 1984 Tattoo & Piercing Studios.