Tattoo

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Zoë Kravitz's subtle tattoos
Elegant tattoos
Rather more noticeable tattoos

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,[1] 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.

A modern tattoo machine

Removal[change | edit source]

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.[2]

History[change | edit source]

A picture of a Māori chief with traditional tattoos.

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.[3] These tattoos, which were made of soot, were possibly part of an early form of acupuncture.[4] Tattoos have also been found on mummies from ancient civilizations in Egypt[5] and Nubia.[6] 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.[7] 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".[8] 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.[8]

Tattoos are also popular amongst the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia).

References[change | edit source]

Related pages[change | edit source]