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The art of tattoo. Some about great tattoos pictures and tattoos designs

author: Nikolay Sokolov (Google+)

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.

In the tattoo art the year of 1891 is known as one of the most important parts of history because in this year the American O Reilly invented the special electronic device for tattoo images application, that could substitute with itself many different made by hand devices and instruments. All the first half of the twentieth century Europe and America were limited to the standard sets of the primitive pictures. And only the powerful burst of the youth culture of the 60-s led to the appearance of the new generation of tattoo artists with big artistic ambitions and the great will to make the craziest experiments. It was then when the tattoo application became the art, and the tattoo shops became sacred for the most part of people who are loving such art as tattoo images. This was the time when there began the taking of traditional culture images of Polynesia, the East, American Indians, forming of new styles, directions and schools in the art of tattoo image applications. Thus began the new and modern period of more than a thousand year history of tattoo.

However, even now, the world of tattoo became more simple, and the attitude to them became more tolerant, and also due to the fact that such tattoos can be easily hidden under the clothes. Many people decide to make a single tattoo in their life for the memories of some event in their life or just for fun. Let us see more closely the reasons that make people move towards the feeling of tattoo application and who makes such tattoos.

In different regions, as we noted already, tattoos looked differently and meant different things. Usually people make tattoos because they look very modern. However, as we already said, the tattoo is the ancient art, that’s why this reason is not a reason itself, however, the art of tattoo evolved a lot since ancient times. The person wants to stand out of the crowd and uses for it many different means – clothes, accessories, make-up. He wants to attract sights of other people and to reveal himself. Tattoo art becomes one of such means of showing himself. According to the statistics, usually tattoo designs are applied by rather ambitious people. Maybe because of this tattoo designs are applied by such persons as actors, musicians, singers and so on.

Any art gives its impact on a psychological state of the person, and it can be said also about such non-traditional way of painting, as painting on the body. And first of all this impact should be important for the person, who decided to ornament himself with some tattoo image design. This is really so, because not every person will overcome fears and prejudices and decide to apply a tattoo. In goes without saying that the motivation is different for the different people, but it should always be and everybody should realize the real reasons that stand behind the decision of ornamenting his body.
On the other hand the man is a social creature and as a social one, he can influence the surrounding people with the way he looks. This is the other side of the psychological aspect of the art of tattooing.
People should be led not only by the influence of tattoo art and aesthetic part of the question, but produce a decision knowing every aspect.

Psychological aspect of tattoo application is closely connected with the need of being similar to someone or bad aesthetic longings. In some cases the tattoo can provoke the circumstances it reveals by itself. And if it is made with full understanding of its meaning and purpose, then the tattoo becomes a business card, applying some sort of the behavioristic image to a person.
In other words, the tattoo is never a passive image, it is an active symbol, the pointer to the character of the person. This is applied only in cases where the person makes tattoo according to his own will.
The American psychologists are sure that personal traits and tattoos have a very close connection. There were underlined some tendencies and connections between images and traits of character. For example, the running man tattoo image design can mean the longing to run away, find shelter. If the body is applied as a tattoo picture, it can mean non-satisfaction, need for something. The tattoos in different forms of faces usually means that the person tries to look after himself really good. If the person chooses eyes as his tattoo design it can mean the longing to exclude bad visual impacts if the eyes are closed. If they are wide open this can mean the need of defense. Mouth is known as the symbol of everything aggressive. The certain sign of aggression are also good teeth. Nose is considered to be the symbol of something sexual, but it is argued up to now.

Thus we can say that tattoos mostly often reveal the state of character and mind of those who apply them. For example, if the person looks very calm, it is highly unlikely that he will have any aggressive tattoo designs. But if he has any, it can still be explained like the will to gain some protection and to compensate the weakness. That’s why when examining persons, tattoos must be considered in close connection with every aspect concerning the persons life and every peculiarity.

Tattoos nowadays are very popular and we can surely say that people will always apply tattoos. All people are very individual and complex – different sex, knowledge, tattooed or not. So there are several reasons why people make tattoos – the mean of showing off, the love for something, feeling of weakness, cosmetic purposes, and status motivations.
Tattoo is not a fashion, it just is. Nowadays the overall quality of tattoos and tattoo application increased a lot. Nowadays the first place probably occupies not the meaning of the tattoo, but its beauty and the quality of application.