A tattoo is a permanent mark made by putting ink into the skin. Tattoos may be made on human or animal skin. Tattoos on humans are a type of body modification, but tattoos on animals are most often used for identification. People sometimes get tattoos to show that they belong to a gang or culture group.
People get tattoos in tattoo parlors. Getting a tattoo involves pain, although how much pain is different from person to person, and also depends on what body part is being tattooed. Most tattoos today are given using an electric tattoo machine, which uses needles to put ink into the body.
Some people who have tattoos wish that they had not gotten them. Tattoos can be taken off with laser surgery, but this is painful and often requires several visits to a dermatologist or skin care professional.
Tattooing is an ancient art. Ötzi the Iceman, a man who lived around 3300 BC and whose mummy was found in 1991, had 57 tattoos. These tattoos, which were made of soot, were possibly part of an early form of acupuncture. Tattoos have also been found on mummies from ancient civilizations in Egypt and Nubia. However, tattoos are forbidden in Jewish law (See Leviticus 19:28)
Tattoos became popular in the Western world after contact with American Indians and Polynesians during the 1700s. James Cook reported that he had seen tattooing being done when he was in Tahiti in 1769. The word "tattoo" comes from the Tahitian word "tatau". Polynesian peoples like the Māori in New Zealand have a tradition of face tattoos (called moko) which are sacred and have special meaning related to status and tribal history.
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- "Iceman's Tattoos Came from Fireplace: Discovery News". dsc.discovery.com. http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/07/17/iceman-tattoos.html. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- "Oetzi iceman's tattoos came from fireplace - Technology & science - Science - DiscoveryNews.com - msnbc.com". msnbc.msn.com. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31965532/ns/technology_and_science-science/. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
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- "Tattoos". smithsonianmag.com. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/tattoo.html?c=y&page=4. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- "tattoo (body decoration)". britannica.com. Encyclopedia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/584263/tattoo#tab=active%7Echecked%2Citems%7Echecked&title=tattoo%20--%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- "Maori Tattoos". history-nz.org. New Zealand in History. 2011 [last update]. http://history-nz.org/maori3.html. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
Related pages [change]
- Body modification
- Flash (tattoo) - a sheet of paper or card board with tattoo designs printed or drawn on
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