Free «Tattoos» Essay Sample

History of tattoos has at least 6,000 years. The earliest tattoos were found during excavations of Egypt pyramids. Mummies of about four thousand years were found, but drawings were still visible on dry skin. Ancient Egyptians revered the art of tattoos and, thanks to trade relations, taught people of Persia, Greece and Crete to decorate their own bodies. The art of tattooing the body was discovered by historians in almost any era and any investigated century. People studying tattoo agree that the term "tattoo" coined the famous traveler Captain James Cook after his voyage to hot Oceania and Polynesia. The English word “tattoo” is most likely adapted from the Tahitian word “tatau”, meaning “marking something” (Arp 4).

Tattoo culture received greatest dawn in Japan, where tattooed people are still venerated. Japanese masters first proposed three-dimensional images. Instead of ornaments and flat shapes, they began to portray voluminous and colorful mythical animals. In North America, the art of tattooing, most likely, "sailed" through the Bering Strait, with the Chukchi. The Chukchi were in a good relationship with the Native Americans, and they handed tattoo art to Central and South America. Tattoos served not only as an ornament, but also as a sign of the tribe, clan and totem. They pointed social identity of its owner, served as camouflage while hunting, and, in addition, authorizing certain magical powers.

A face had a privileges status on tattooing in the Indians. The Polynesians turned their faces into a terrible mask, causing panic in enemies. “Polynesian tattoos become a way to tell stories about their owners” (Gemori 2). Maori tribes painted masklike face tattoos - "Moko". These amazing artful designs were a permanent war paint. Those tattoos were an indication of virtue and social status of their owners. "Moko" samples were so individual that they were often used by their owners as a personal signature.

  At the beginning of this century, the first professional studios were opened in big cities; this was enabled by the changes in technology, namely the use of mechanical and electrical devices. If the first device gave tattoo its original value, the latter one opened a new direction in art. Mid-60s are associated with the emergence of the so-called "music" style. Youth promoted it, starting from musicians and ending with their fans, which pricked the tattoos associated with jazz and rock 'n' roll. If earlier one-two colors (red and black) images were practiced, the 20th century is an era of colored tattoos. At the same time, there are the first avant-garde motifs, ranging from copying of paintings to highly artistic portraits and reproductions of photographs.

Tattoo of this period is a special, interesting in an artistic sense, milestone that has come to our days. Nowadays, together with the rise of ethnic motives, there are also new areas such as the "cyber". It is a modification of the human body and extremities, such as sketches of joints with mechanical connections, ornaments of the chips, and other cosmic and mystical motifs inspired by the 21st century and psychotropic preparations. Knowing the sense of symbols of tattoos gives an opportunity to assess and characterize its owner. Therefore, a person should select the picture for tattoo very carefully. The main thing everyone needs to remember is that imitation is the oppression of self and effort to be someone else. People can get tattoo for so many reasons. However, one of the most popular reasons is personal expression. “A picture is worth a thousand of words” (Hudson 15).


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