The history of the tattoo images
The scientists say that the tattoos appeared much earlier – in the times of the ancient people. They were used not only in the terms of beautifying but also were considered as the sign of totem, tribe, gender and told almost everything about the social position of those who applied them and were bearing the magical force. As for the reason of appearance of tattoo images – here we also have different opinions. According to one theory it is the progress of another mean of beautifying the skin, that were obtained accidentally by the people of the Stone Age. When they got their skin damaged, the bruises formed different ornaments and pictures on the skin, they were actually united into one big scar that gave advantage to its bearer in front of the tribe community and told everyone that he is a lucky hunter or a brave warrior. The ancient families were growing over the time and began to unite into bigger tribes and that’s why there was the point in putting onto the skin special marks that will have special meaning in terms of given public group.
The indian tribes in Indonesia and Polynesia where tattoo images were applied much more often then anywhere else, always given the experience of tattoo image application from generation to generation. Almost every side of live of those people has its connection with tattoo images – from the moment they are born till the moment they die. There is no part of the body that was never tattooed by local tattoo artists. Besides this the tattoo images are widely connected with the so-called “transitional” rituals – the dedication of young men to adult males or the transition from this life to the outer world. For example the Diac tribes believed that in local hell everything will bear new qualities that are completely different to qualities we have in real life – the white becomes the black, the sweet becomes the bitter and so on. So people of Diac tribes preferred the most dark tattoos they could get. Having changed appearance after death, the tattoos became shining and light. This light was quite enough to successfully lead the applicant through the dark abyss between paradise and Earth.
There are many interesting facts in the history of tattoo images. There is a fact that deserves separate attention. Among different people tattoo images were considered to possess different magical qualities – they protected adult people during war and hunting and protected children from the wrath of their parents, as well as old people from different diseases. However the magic of tattoo found its consequences not only among “barbarians”. In the 18 and 19 centuries the Britain sailors put such tattoo images as crosses on their backs hoping that it will save them from physical punishment on the board of the ship that were widely spread in the English navy. Among Arabic people the Koran verses were considered good as tattoo images for application. It is notable that this kind of tattoo image increased the status of its applicant. However sometimes tattoo images were used as a mean of the punishment. In Cukuzen, the Japanese province of the Edo times in terms of the punishment for the first crime the horizontal line was applied to the forehead and for the second – one curve, and then another one.
Also from distant times the art of tattoo images was born in the ancient Japan and having lived until the present days, appeared to become the whole branch of the modern style of the artistic tattoo, known in many countries as Japanese style. The traditional ancient tattoo images are known to be Koi carps, chrysantemas and other flowers. For the modern stylized Japanese kinds of this art can be named such tattoo images, as Japanese dragons that should not be mixed with their European variants, of samurais and geishas. It is notable to say that in Japan, as well as in some other countries was preserved the traditional mechanism of tattoo image application by hand, without using of the tattoo machines and devices. Also in Japan there are some wide-spread tattoo images such as sacred spirits and animals: Koi carps, dragons, tigers. As a result the composition was built in the shape of ENU hieroglyph, which means the dog. In ancient China the most wide-spread punishment was also the tattoo on the face. This was always the mean of marking the captured men or slaves – the reason was to make their escape harder and to simplify their recognition. It is notable to say that Roman and Greek people used the tattoo images for the same purposes. Later the Spanish conquistadors continued this practice in Nicaragua and Mexico.
The ancestors of Slavic people used different stamps and seals for tattoo image application. They looked like presses that bore the elements of ornament. Such presses allowed to cover all the body with a whole carpet ornament that was considered very useful during the magical rituals of the cult of fertility.
In the modern world tattoos in different countries mean different things. In ancient times and in modern times they always bearded some meaning, definite and strict. There appeared such types of image application as tattoos of the travellers, prison tattoos, war tattoos and so on. Each tattoo image strictly meant that its applicant did this or that. For example it could be a round trip, or tattoo image could mean that he is a thief, had service at some forces. However in the end of 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century such thing as artistic tattoo image was widely spread. Such artistic tattoo pictures are made always only in terms of beauty and usually do not mean anything certain. People who began first to apply such artistic tattoo images encountered with non-understanding in the society because the society continued to think that tattoo images must bear some meaning. Also probably the society was not used to the new appearance of tattoo images. The main problems were known to have the citizens of the countries, that belonged to the former Soviet Union where the young generation encountered with non-understanding with conservative Soviet generation, where the tattoo images were always considered to be the attribute of the crime world. In the history of tattoo the key moment is considered to be the year of 1891, when the American citizen O Reilly invented the electrical tattoo machine, that could substitute different made by hand devices and instruments. All the first half of the 20th century Europe and America could boast only the standard set of the primitive tattoo images. And only the powerful burst of the youth culture of 60s led to the appearance of the new generation of tattoo artists with big creative ambitions and the will to go in for brave experiments. This was the reason why tattoo images were named art. Every tattoo shop became a sacred place for many lovers of the tattoo images. In those times began the taking of the traditional images of culture of Polynesia, Far East, American Indians, the forming of the new styles, trends and schools. Thus began the new, modern stage of the thousand years art of tattoo designs.
However now, in the year of 2014, the tattoos began to be accepted well by the majority of citizens, especially if they can be easily covered by the clothes. Many people dream to make themselves at least a single tattoo to commemorate this or that event or just for beauty, for it to be pleasant to the eyes, to the person.
And here are some interesting facts about the tattoo images. For example, the Catholic church is not at all against the tattoo art. For the baptized aborigins there have been applied tattoos in the form of cross for the not to be able to go into another faith. Nowadays there is almost one hundred officially registered Christian tattoos that offer their services of tattoo images application with Bible quotes, canonical texts and images. According to the will of the applicant, those images even can be made holy. Also it is an interesting fact that in British royal family tattoos are not prohibited. In the year of 1862 the next British king Edward the 7th made himself a tattoo in the form of cross on his arm. Prince Charles also had a tattoo but he got rid of it a little before his marriage with Princess Diana. Practically on every part of the body of English king Garold there have been tattoos of the war battles. Jean-Batist-Julles Bernadot, the marshal of France and King of Sweden died in the year of 1844. While he was prepared for mummification people found the tattooed French inscription: “Death to Kings”. John Kennedy got rid of his tattoo only because his wife insisted on it. He had a turtle tattoo image on his shoulder, that meant that its applicant crossed the equator.
The professional tattoo artists nowadays use professional equipment for tattoo image application. Tattoo in general is the kind of the body art, and so the kind of the art itself. Tattoo images are widely used by criminal groups as the method of identification inside the group hierarchy. Tattoo images are widely popular among different youth groups and trends and are mainly used for revealing themselves and their self-identification. An interesting fact is that the tattoo images are often used for the identification of corpses during the investigations.
The word tattoo was taken from the Polynesian language, in which it means “image”. This word was brought into the English language by the outstanding English explorer James Cook. He used it in his report about his round trip that had been published in the year of 1773. Before this time tattoo image in Europe was used as a mean of beautifying and identification of human body and didn’t have any special name. The terms that were used before Cook defined the tattoo in the great variety of techniques of beautifying and identification of the human body. Sometimes they were taken from slang of different society groups.
The list of the most interesting names of tattoos that have been used earlier on the territory of the Wester Europa are “stigma” and “signum”. These words are known from the literature of the Ancient Rome. The word “stygmat” is known from the Bible that was issued by Luther in the year of 1534. After Cook the term “tattoo” was not adopted in instance. At first it was connected only with the procedure made in Tahiti. After some more time the term “tattoo” was spread throughout the most European states, adopting to different languages and filling in the niche in the lexicon with the precise description of the subject we are talking about. The term “tattoo design” itself that was defining all the differences of this subject all over the world, first got into the “Dictionary of Medicine”, prepared by the Pierre Nistene in the year of 1856. Then Emile Littre made it into the famous “Dictionary of the French Language”. The evaluation of tattoo is made not only by the space it occupies but also with the complexity of he fulfilled work and also by the time needed for the preparation of design.
In Russia the tattoo culture is considered almost lost, before the birth of the criminal structures. That’s why in Russia and Russian styles tattoo images can be called by different slang words. Slang words either define the process of tattoo application or identification inside the hierarchy. The criminal tattoo design application art in Russia is known as culture because the true roots of the tattoo art in Russia are nowadays unknown.
Tattoos have often been used for different rituals. For example in maori, l tirbe, that lived in New Zealand, the tattoo art is a sacred thing. The method of application o the maori tattoo image differs from the usual one because of the cutting of skin by the special way. The tattoo is carved on the skin instead of piercing with needle. The prevailing idea in Maori tattoo images is the distinctive spiral line, covering the face, ass and legs of the Maori men.
Women make tattoos on their lips, chin and in some rare cases on the neck and back. Forehead and whiskers also can be partially covered with tattoo image. On the forehead one main spiral grows into many spirals. Maori could do such complex objects, however they until now use coal and stick to carve the tattoo image on the skin.
In Japan until the year of 500 the ornamenting of body by tattoo was the privilege of imperators and afterwards it developed into the decorative art. However over the time the tattoo image art became the symbol of the criminal world. In ancient Japan a person with tattoo was considered as persona non-grata – he was excluded from family and society and completely isolated. On the bodies of the criminals the tattoo images were usually situated on some visible part and it could tell others which prison he was in. Over the time such tattoo pictures became the distinctive characteristics of yakuza.
Yakuza is using large tattoos for several hundred years, and mainly they are used to tell others to which part of group the applicant belongs and also to state the position of him in this group. Besides that, when coming to yakuza, new members got vivid new names, like Nine Dragons, Roaring Storm and so on, that were later put onto their chest or back in the form of the tattoo images. Japanese classical tattoo, that was inherited by yakuza, is known for its beauty, difference of designs and colors and always bears some hidden meaning, that can not be understood by those who are not aware of some principles. Usually such tattoo images depict legendary heroes or some religious designs that can be combined with flowers, landscapes, symbolic animals such as dragons and tigers with rays, clouds and waves as a background, and in motion, what makes them look like in 3D. The idea of Japanese tattoo images is full of different motifs that can be divided into four groups: fauna, flora, religious and mythological motifs, connected with the unusual heroes’ adventures.
The peculiar place here is for sea and general water motifs and this can be easily explained – the life of many Japanese people is highly connected with the sea. Because of this in Japanese tattoo often there is a motif of wave near the water creatures, that is used as a background and for the determining of the structure of the body. Sometimes it dictates some style. In Japanese tattoos also found its place a big group of national heroes, saints, samurais and monks, geishas, actors of the Kabuki theater and so on. However, despite such big clan separation, the masters of Japanese tattoo designs continue to fulfill the orders, passing their ability from generation to generation together with outstanding art of tattoo image application.
The attitude of Christianity to tattoo images is complex. On one hand there are no dogmas that forbid the tattoo images application, but at the same time the attitude to it is more negative than positive. Often we can see the attempts to explain the forbiddance of tattoo image application with Bible. However the only verse in Bible that deals with tattoo can be found in the verse that blames ritual deeds in favor of pagan gods. In that verse tattoo and cutting of beard are forbidden for their sake. However there are no vetoes against making the tattoo with other aims. So the question of attitude of Christianity to tattoo image application remains open.
There are different types of tattoo images. First type is permanent. It is applied onto the skin with the use of one or several needles. If the application of tattoo image is correct and the pigment has quality, such tattoo never loses color totally and remains until the end of live.
Mendy – it is the image applied to the skin with the use of china and brush, as well as wooden or metal stick. It can vary from pink to brown color, depending on the contents of the color and the type of the skin. It completely disappears after 2-4 weeks. Such tattoo pics are widely spread in the East, in India and in Nothern Africa.
Tattoos are also often used for cosmetic purposes – to remove different spots or to apply make-up onto the face – the so-called permanent make-up. Usually cosmetic make-up is used for lips, brows or eyes. The permanent make-up of lips, due to the fact that the skin there is thinner than usual, has more exposure for burn-out. Permanent make-up usually lasts in the period from 1 to 5 years.
In ancient times the main pigments for tattoo images application were known to be some mineral substances that were extracted from different nature resources. In Medieval Ages with the invention of powder made the appearance of tattoo with inclusion of powder that was put under the skin. The chemical production of the modern times produces the whole specter of syntetic pigments, in particular, for the tattoo image industry there have been created separate conditions, laboratories.