Marriage Tattoos

Tattoos have long been a medium people use to pledge their undying love for each other. In the United States, we tend to associate hearts with love, thus a heart design is a popular choice to show affection. Some people have even chosen to get tattoos to commemorate their marriage. Other cultures dictate that a woman be tattooed before she is even eligible to marry. Others use tattooing as a method to attract mates.

Perhaps the origin of marriage related tattooing in North America stems from the devotion tattoo. Devotion tattoos usually involve a heart or some other symbol of love and usually someone’s name. Names don’t necessarily have to be involved though, something else could be used to symbolize the devotee, like a favorite flower or something to do with her interests.

Tattooed wedding rings have been around for centuries, but their modern celebrity status has given them a new lease on being hip and trendy. Back in the mid 1990’s rocker Tommy Lee wed Pamela Anderson of “Baywatch” fame. Unfortunately, the union didn’t last as long as the matching tattooed bands on their ring fingers. Fashion model, Mia Tyler (daughter of Areosmith’s Steven Tyler) and her musician husband, David Buckner also have tattooed bands.

Although tattoos in pace of actually rings sounds extreme and absurd, it may actually have some practical advantages. Some people, like doctors and nurses have professions that require them to wash their hands all the time. A tattooed ring would mean they can do so without having to bother with taking their wedding band on and off repeatedly and risk losing or forgetting it.

Other’s have jobs that have certain risk factors associated with wearing jewelry, like oil field worker, mechanics and others who deal with heavy machinery on a regular basis. Conventional rings can get caught on the machine’s moving parts and cause damage, and maybe even the loss of a finger. The ring finger has a tendency not to heal as well as other parts of the body, so the design may turn out a little blurry.

Not all marriage tattoos have to be permanent to be important. The Hindu religion mandates they couple, especially the bride to be, be decorated with henna tattoos for the ceremony, or their union will not be considered official. The word “mehendi” is often used in place of “henna” and is synonymous with the word “marriage.” Its reddish color is symbolic of good luck and prosperity a new bride is going to bring to the family she is becoming a part of. The designs are usually placed on the hands and feet by the bride’s female relatives during a ritual preformed the day before the wedding. At least one the groom’s hands is usually decorated for the ceremony as well.

In other cultures, a woman is not considered worthy to marry unless she is tattooed because it’s believed if she can’t take the pain of getting extensively tattooed, then she might never be able to stand the even more intense pain of child birth. By the same token, and untattooed man isn’t worth marrying because if her can’t endure the discomfort of getting inked, he is not going to be a good worker so he can’t provide well for his family. He will probably be considered a incompetent warrior.

In many ways, picking out a tattoo design is much like looking for a spouse. Your tattoo with be your ever present companion in good times and bad, in sickness and health, for richer and for poor. Pretty much the same rules apply. Some times a tattoo outlasts the relationship it was meant to celebrate and the two or three more. Much like a marriage gone wrong, divorcing a tattoo will also leave you hurting, broke and scarred.

Henna Tattooing

Are you thinking of getting inked, but not sure you’re ready for the commitment? Consider a henna tattoo. It’s the best way to avoid permanent ink with out looking like you whimped out.

The tall shrub like henna plant grows in dry, arid climates. Much of the world’s henna supply comes from Egypt, Sudan and India, but it’s cultivated in some
African and Middle Eastern countries as well. In Pakistan, the plant tends to be known as “Mendhi.” The plant is ground into powder and made into a paste that will temporarily stain the skin.

Leaves are harvested from the plant just as the pink and cream-colored buds start to bloom. The flowers are can be used for perfume, and the leaves are hung to dry. It’s important to keep them out of direct light. Allowing them to air dry in semidarkness will preserve their skin-staining qualities.

The paste consists of the powder and a substance usually referred to as a “developer.” Hot water is by far the most common developer. Some henna artists swear by additives such as lemon juice, various kinds of tea and certain essential oils. Henna will start staining the skin upon the initial contact, as well as any soft surface it comes in contact with, so it’s important to protect the work area and make sure the paste goes exactly where you mean for it to.

The paste should set on the skin for about two hours after design is fully applied. Carefully brush the dried paste off of the skin without rubbing. The design should be an orange color. Don’t panic. The color is not finished developing. It should keep evolving for the next 12 to 48 hours depending on skin type.

It’s of utmost importance that the new tattoo doesn’t get wet in the first 12 hours. The water will automatically stop the color development. Aftercare of the fresh henna tattoo is very similar to that of a regular under skin ink tattoo. Avoid soaking in the bath, and use only mild soap. Be careful to keep it clean and make sure to pat the area dry rather than rubbing.

The art of henna application is typically practiced by females, or at least there is very little documentation that proves otherwise. Henna tattoos are traditionally applied to the hands, including the fingernails, and the feet for ceremonies and celebrations such as weddings and festivals, especially religious ceremonies.

The earliest documented use of henna as body art dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Mummies uncovered in archeological digs have revealed signs of henna use, not only on the hands and feet, but as a hair dye and possibly even a conditioner. There is evidence that pharaohs were often hennaed and that specifically hennaed hands may have been perceived as a status symbol among the ancients, signifying prosperity. In other parts of the world where henna application is popular, it’s used without respect to social or economic boundaries. Peasants are just as likely to be tattooed as royals.

Henna crosses many diverse cultural boundaries, but application techniques have stayed pretty much the same. The artwork may vary depending on the formality of the event. Tattoos worn for every-day decoration won’t be as ordinate as those for special occasions. The popularity of various designs changes from one geographical region to the next.

For example, the dominant style in Arabia is large, flowery design covering the palm, in addition to the back of the hand. This design tends to leave more unadorned skin showing than some alternative styles. Fine-lined, intricate paisley patterns are popular in northern India. These designs usually only cover the palm and leave very little skin uncovered.

Henna is a permanent dye. It only fades because of the natural regeneration of the skin. The typically tattoo lasts about 10 to 15 days. The fading process is affected by the tattoos placement on the skin and the lifestyle of its wearer.

Tattooing Rituals

The explorer William Dampher brought the tattoo to the contemporary west when he brought the heavily tattooed Polynesian Prince Giolo to London in 1691 and put him on exhibition. He became the rage of London. The British public welcomed the novelty. Europe had not seen tattoos in 600 years. It would be another 100 years before tattoos would make their mark on the West.

The slow spread of tattoos in the West was due to their slow, painstaking procedure of application. Puncture of the skin by hand and subcutaneous injection of ink was unappealing. Tattooing was viewed so poorly that it went underground; becoming a secret society few were accepted into. This ritualistic approach to tattooing is prevalent throughout of its history.

It is believed that the tattoo originated in Ancient Egypt. Archaeologists at Ashmolean Museum in Oxford claim tattoos were first applied to female clay figurines and their human counterparts as early as 4000 BC. Such neo-pagan practices so eerily reminiscent of voodoo that pre-date Christ by nearly four millennia clarify why so many find tattoos mysterious and disturbing.

The migrant Ainu people of Japan adopted tattooing early and considered the tattoo divine. Modern Japanese dismissed such notions of the tattoo and viewed it ornament. Japanese tattooists called the Horis refined tattooing to an art form. Their use of color, sheer intricacy of designs, and use of contrast made their tattoo marks appear almost three-dimensional. Even as art-historians appreciated tattoos as an aesthetic, the human suffering required to endure tattooing mystified many.

Sir Joseph Banks was the first European on record who speculated why. During his 1769 visit to Tahiti, Banks wrote: “What can be a sufficient inducement to suffer so much pain is difficult to say; not one Indian (though I have asked hundreds) would ever give me the least reason for it; possibly superstition may have something to do with it. Nothing else in my opinion could be a sufficient cause for so apparently absurd a custom.”

Superstition may well be the reason so many early tattoo wearers endured the pain of tattooing but such notions are scorned or chided by their wearers today. Tattoos seem to be a fundamental area of common ground across cultures. From Africa to Europe, to North America and its thousands of native tribes, the acceptance of tattoo pain and permanence appear integral to very societal structure.

The pantheistic and animistic connotations of tattoos cannot be overlooked. The belief the tattoo wearer calls upon the spirit of his marked image – the dragon, eagle or flower – implies a return to a nature of the human form. Regardless of the reasoning behind them, tattoos are a practice in symbolism as much as art and their ritualistic nature cannot be understated or ignored.

Some civilizations use tattoos for demarcation of degree of crime, others tattoo young girls as rite of passage to womanhood. Tribal Samoan women are married based on the tattoos they wear. Dayak warriors’ tattoos symbolize how many lives they have taken in battle. Such tattoos assure their wearers status for life.
The rewards of such tattoos in tribal life seem to justify the physical pain required to endure their application. Today’s global village makes tattoos and the rites of passage their represent seem out of date.

Teenagers war with each other to fit in with the right crowd, and have the right clothes. Twenty-somethings fight each other harder for the entry-level job that’s
going to take them to the top, or to get into graduate school. Established businessmen will stop at nothing to preserve their balances. Humans seem to love status and will submit to whatever rituals assure them of it.

Social Acceptance of Tattoos

Would you sit for hours and let someone stab you repeatedly? There are those who crave such treatment. Since its beginnings, civilization has possessed habits that were seen as barbaric and low-rent. Being tattooed has, in the history of the U.S., been seen as something that only the dregs and roughnecks of society would do. Yet in this, the technological, age tattoos have become a more accepted and mainstream part of society.

Some of those who are being tattooed today do so to be trendy. The most popular or–as many would put it–the most cliché, tattoos are tribal or Celtic designs, barbed wire, and skulls for males, and, for females, flowers, fairies, hearts, and butterflies. Still others are tattooed because they see their art as an extension of themselves and wish to be a canvas for their artist.

According to Tattoo Facts and Statistics online (http://www.vanishingtattoo.com), in 1936 Life magazine estimated about 6 percent of the U.S. population had at least one tattoo. The same article states that in April 2000, the National Geographic News reported that approximately 40 million U.S. citizens had been inked.

If you break it down by age groups, a 2003 Harris poll tells us that young adults aged 25-29 possess the highest percentage of tattooed individuals–a stunning 36 percent! Over the past few years, both the age range and the number of those being tattooed have steadily increased.

Tattoos are gotten for many reasons. In biker culture, one might get a tattoo to symbolize their affiliation with their biker crew, just as a gang member would have his gang’s symbols etched into his skin to show his loyalty.

For many, a tattoo is a passing fad, a craze, and is something they will later regret. These are most often the people who go with a group of friends to get tattooed because it’s “cool,” or perhaps some are those who would, in the thralls of a passionate affair, get a lover’s name inked into their flesh. These people are most commonly the ones who will seek out means of tattoo removal later on in life, ashamed of what they consider a momentary lapse of judgment.

And yet for others, a tattoo is a distinct and desired part of life–an expression of their personal beliefs and a work of art. Not long ago, tattoos were unacceptable in high society and were seen as the rude and brutal etchings of roughnecks and those who were of a lower standard. Throughout the 1960s, the rebellious, anti-social mind-set of the day helped to mainstream tattooing as more and more flower children were inked in defiance of what was “proper.” By the 1970s, rock and rollers began to proudly display their tats, and by the 1980s, many celebrities, from rock star to model to sports star to actress, boasted of their ink.

A History Channel program reveals that the earliest sample of tattooed skin which has been discovered dates back to 12th-Dynasty Egypt (1938 B.C.), but that there is evidence to show that, in Pre-Dynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt, tattooing might have been practiced as early as 4500 B.C.

Today’s age has been described as the age of the Renaissance for tattoos. An article by U.S. News and World Report states that ten years ago, tattoo parlors were opening at a rate of one per day in the U.S. Tattoo artists now advertise page after page of “Flash” art on their walls, ready-made tattoos for the customers who want ink, but don’t know what design they want.

In the past decade, newer, stricter regulations have been put into place to protect both the client and the artist. Cleanliness and equipment guidelines have allowed tattooing to become a safer form of rebellion for teens looking to shock their parents or to find a way to express themselves.

But for some, tattoos will always be taboo. In this day and age, there is still discrimination against those people who choose to be inked. Often, one will cover his art for a job interview, fearful that any potential employer will judge the person not by his resume, but by the ink in his skin. It is the same for the females who allow their skin to become a canvas. While those with the understanding see tattoos as unique and beautiful expressions of one’s personality and another’s skill, others see them merely as blemishes or stains on an otherwise unmarred surface. Ultimately, it is an individual’s choice whether or not a tattoo is a beautiful addition to one’s person or a beastly mistake to be erased.

Tattoos and Animal Identification

Body art has nothing if not purpose. Just ask the person wearing it. People get tattoos to commemorate special events in their lives, like new babies or new college degrees. They get them to show their love for another person, location, or even pet. Some get inked to express their grief over the passing of someone they love. Tattoos tell stories about the people wearing them. They scream out hopes, dreams and sometimes even nightmares, but they have a much more mundane, yet practical purpose as well: animal identification.

There’s always been a need for farmers and ranchers to be able to identify their livestock. Starting in the 1800s, they used a hot iron to burn an identifying mark into the animal’s hide. That practice has since been called into question by animal rights activists who are concerned about it being painful and therefore inhumane. While branding is by no means completely extinct, new practices have been successfully in place for several years; one of them is tattooing. Tattooing is fairly quick and surely less painful than branding. Yet it’s still just as permanent

The importance of being able to positively identify an animal goes way beyond ownership. It can go a long way toward the eradication of diseases if the sick animals can be picked out and kept away from the rest of the heard. If it’s easy to tell which animals are sick then they can be studied with confidence, knowing they’ve got the right creature and can more correctly diagnose and treat the illness. Dealing quick and efficiently with the problem means saving money and livestock.
Organ and tissue samples can also be identifies for study and lead to better treatment and prevention of sickness.

Being able to easily tell one animal from the other make it easy to keep accurate records of their vaccinations, checkups and other health information so that the health of the heard can be certified, which is of utmost importance when it comes to selling of f the animals at auction. If there is an outbreak, like the Mad Cow epidemic of a few years back, for example, know not only which creatures are sick, but being able to track where they’ve been and chart their movement could allow veterinarians to find out the source of the disease and maybe stop it.

In recent years, some vets have began imprinting small, blue tattoos on female pets after the animal has been spayed. The mark is usually placed on the abdomen, in a spot where the animal’s hair is the thinnest, so it can be seen through the fur. The idea behind the practice is to protect the animal from having to endure an invasive procedure should it become separated from it’s owners and someone else take it in to get fixed.

Tattoos are also an effective way to permanently identify mice and rats used in lab research. The tattoos are generally applied to the tails of the animals of course, since it is a hairless area and easy for the tattooer to access. The permanence of the marking means the animal will only have to be labeled once, which means less work on the researcher, and less stress on the rat. Tattooing animals involved in research is actually a pretty big business, with several manufacturers producing the products and training people how to use them.

Tattooing animals is for their own protection as well as that of people. It saves money and often the lives of the creatures. Tattoos can help track sickness and disease and aid in their eradication. The practice that many have deemed barbaric has actually proven to be more human to the animals, improving their health and quality of life in the long run.

Samoan Tattooing

More than 2,000 years ago, according to PBS online, the first Polynesian tattoo was inked into skin. Early tattoos were done with crude instruments and caused tremendous pain. In some societies, the art of tattooing is much the same today as when it began. In particular, Samoan tatau, which is the art of tattooing by hand, has remained unchanged.

Two of sisters named Taema and Tilafaiga are credited with first bringing the art tatau from Fiji to Samoa. In Fiji, the sisters were taught that only the women were to receive tattoos. This information “got reversed on their journey home,” and from this confusion emerged what became the Samoan tradition–men were tattooed while women bore children.

The Samoan master artist, or tufuga, are usually a male and apprentice for many years before his first tattoo. He spends years honing his skill, which is often passed down from father to son. The tufuga will spend hours, even days, practicing with his au in barkcloth or sand. The au is a comb-like tool, made of wood and a part of
a turtle shell which has sharpened boar’s teeth attached to it. The artist uses a mallet to hammer the comb’s teeth in, marking his design.

Rank and title are of utmost importance in Samoan society, and a person’s tattoos reflect their standing in the social hierarchy. Because the tatau process is extremely painful, a finished tattoo represents not only a person’s societal rank, but is a reminder of that person’s strength and ability to endure. Both the pain and the risk of infection are great, but if a person refuses tatau, he is seen as a coward. A person who can’t sit through an entire tattoo has to live with a mark of shame for the rest of his life.

In a Samoan’s life, the first tatau session occurs at the onset of puberty. The traditional tattoo for men, the pe’a, is an intricate design which extends from the knees to the middle of the man’s torso. Originally, this design represented a man’s dedication and pledge of loyalty to his extended family, or aiga. The process of tattooing lasts all day, for weeks, even months, at a time. The usual pe’a is supposed to be able to be completed in ten days, five actual days of tattooing and five days of rest in between. Because the process takes such a long time, the tufuga is often housed and fed by the family of the person being tattooed for the duration of the tattooing.

The healing process, unlike the tattooing, is sure to last for months. To heal completely takes a year or more. Women’s tattoos are done on the thighs, legs, or hands, and are usually of a smaller design. While men’s tattoos are typically comprised of larger, solid sections of ink, the women’s patterns are of a much more delicate, intricate design. The most honored tattoo that a female can receive is the lima. Lima is a special tattoo inked into the hands which is required to serve
kava, a narcotic drink served at ceremonies. The malu, a lacy web design, is done on the inside of women’s thighs and is flashed during the dancing of the siva.

Geometric patterns, utilizing lines, triangles, circles, and other polygons, are commonly used in Samoan tattoo design, as are simple pictographs depicting mankind, animals and birds, or other, man-made, objects. The geometric designs had multiple meanings, depending on these three factors: where the tattoo is placed on the body, what other designs are tied into it, and who the person is who is being tattooed. Typically, the master determines what designs would be suitable for each subject individually, and then explains the story of the design to that person.

This tradition, strongly rooted in Samoan society, has lasted thousands of years and may likely last a thousand more. For a Samoan, a tattoo is not just a pretty design but a badge of honor.

Sexy Men Opts for Tribal Tattoo

Perhaps you have already passed by a tattoo parlor. Did you see the various available designs? Most of the tattoo parlors make it a point to display their designs right in front of the door or on the walls to attract potential customers. Their concepts range in sizes, creativity in design, colors, and even in meaning.

For many, choosing may be difficult especially if you have to do it on the dot. Thus, it pays to check out every single possible source of tattoo design. Anyhow, which kind of design interests you most? Is it the tribal tattoo? There is no doubt that this attracts more and more people, men and women alike. Then again, this is a common preference of the men. Why is it so?

Explaining why it is a most Sought-After Design

The tribal design is held to be one of the top choices of those who want to get inked on their skin. There is something that is truly cool with the design that it often gets noticed. The lines are free flowing plus the designs are always intricate. The concept also typically presents an artistic mingling of both the roughness and softness of the featured elements in the drawing. Whatever the actual piece is, such design always piques the interest of the men and women alike who love to adorn their bodies with these ornaments.

The Sexy Body Spots Identified

Yes, many people have tattoos inked on their bodies because they want to look sensual. Every individual takes time in considering the best spot to have the tattoo. For the men, it is very sexy to look at when the design is inked on a mass of plump muscle. This is the reason as to why most men prefer to have them on their biceps. Let us try to look deeper into this concept.

The pectoral muscles. The tattoo may be inked using a circular pattern and placed on top of the muscle, across the pec, or over the shoulders.

The side of the neck. With a shirt on, the design appears to be really mysterious. The neck is considered to be one of the sexiest spots of a man’s body so females are mostly delighted to see tattoos on this area.

In the forearms. The well-formed forearms always attract attention. Having a tattoo on this part makes things very sensual.

Across the shoulder blades or upper back. Nice shoulder muscles and back make an interesting spot for a tattoo. It adds tons of sex appeal.

On the abs. Now this is actually a hot spot for a tattoo!

The Design

The tribal design usually comes in either dark blue or black ink. Your choice is of course unlimited since you may look at an array of available designs ranging from the ritual, marriage, spiritual, fertility, and several other symbols. Always take time to look at what is available and be sure to pick out something that stands for your personality or that which adheres to your self-expression.

A sexy body can all the more be enhanced with an attractive body ornament. By means of finding out the right location for your tattoo, you bring more meaning to the concept of beauty! Hence, get that oozing sex appeal with a well-chosen tribal tattoo.

Tattooed Women

“Well behaved women rarely make history.”
– Laurel Thatchel Ulrich

It used to be that the only place you would find a lady with even a single tattoo was in a carnival freak show. Even after such displays were, for the most part, things of the past, the realm of permanent body art remained somewhat of a boys’ club. Today, tattoos are far more popular and socially accepted by the general public than they used to be, and though men still tend to be more heavily tattooed than women, the gap is quickly filling in.

So pervasive is the trend that tattooed women have developed their own sub-subculture, hosting Web sites, clubs and even entire conventions tailored especially to ladies with body art. There are also books and magazines devoted to the subject. If you belong in those ranks, wish you did, or think you might someday; here are some media you may want to check out.

1. A Tattooed Women’s Collective – This site has links to resources of interest to ladies with ink, and allows them to have their own personal Webpage to show off their art and blog about anything they want to. – http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/destroymachine/paintedladies.html

2. The Illustrated Woman – This book by photographer William Demichele showcases pictures of all kinds of ladies and their permanent body art. They range in age from 20s to 60s and have various degrees of ink, from small, discrete tats to full bodysuits.

3. Bodies of Subversion 2 Ed: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo – by Margot Mifflin, is written by a woman, about women and even published by a woman-owned a operated press, Juno Books. It features information about tattooed women of influence and female tattoo artists.

4. Stewed, Screwed and Tattooed – by Madame Chinchilla and photographed by Jan Hinson chronicles the author’s 12 years of life as a tattooed woman and comments on the social stigma surrounding the subject.

Of course, tattoos know no gender or social class, but a little celebrity endorsement never fails to boost a trend. Several famous women have gotten inked, probably more than we know. One of the most documented in the last century was Betty Broadbent. She was born in 1909 and got her first tattoo in 1927 at the age of 18. Her tattooist was Charlie Wagner of New York. He was one of the few at the time using the new electric machine. Her body was almost solidly covered with more than 300 tattoos. Broadbent became a tattoo artist herself to supplement the income she had from touring. She retired to Florida in 1967 and passed away in 1983.

Are any woman’s tattoos more famous than Janis Joplin’s? Her ink was an outward manifestation of the free spirit she was. A pioneer in the realm of female rock stars, she inspired many people before she died in 1970 at the age of only 28. The coroner’s report itemizes her body art: a bracelet on her left wrist, a flower on her right heel and a heart just above her left breast. Janice’s tattooist, Lyle Tuttle, told the New York Times in 1971 that he tattooed more than 100 copies of that heart on mourning fans since her death.

Thanks to women like these, ladies everywhere are making a place for themselves in the tattooed community. Women are no longer just the canvas. Now they’re the artist too. Female owned and operated tattoo studios are popping up everywhere, and may be a contributing factor in the rise of tattooed women. Modesty may have prevented some from getting the design and placement they really wanted in the past, but they may feel more at ease in an all girl shop.

Trendy Tattoo Ideas for You

There is the misconception that a tattoo is only a thing for someone who has spent his days in the prison cell. True enough, it had also been utilized in the past to mark a person who has done something wrong like a crime or a violation. However, this must not always be the case.

In the olden days, it had always been regarded as a body ornament that served whether as a symbol of seniority, ranking, right, religion, devotion, an award for someone’s bravery, talismans, as an amulet, or as a symbol of security.

In fact up to these days, some religious sects still require their believers to acquire that certain type of marking. On the other hand, such is also being practiced by the members of a gang. So this just clearly shows that the variety of tattoo ideas is applied for different purposes.

Some Ideas to Pique Your Interest

Are you fairly interested in having your own tattoo? Do you want to be a part of the trend? Are you cramming to find a cool idea? To spice up your quest, you may consider different styles that range from the historical up to the modern and newer ideas. Here are some suggestions for you to consider.

The sailor tattoos. They have never been forgotten all throughout the years. Although they may be a bit common to possess yet they bear a strong sense of symbolism. The nautical star is one of the best designs ever that is classically believed to bring forth guidance and strength.

The dragon tattoos. Again, they are one of the most ordinarily used emblems. The striking and bold dragon tattoos stand for strength and power. Their styles range from the classic ones up to the modern choices. For the women, the dragon design produces a sexy appeal while never setting aside the embodiment of the strong female strength and other related dominating qualities.

The modern designs. Indeed, a number of unique and new designs have come about. Included are the butterfly, flowers, and other personalized crafts. In fact if you are creative enough, you may come up with your own design and hand it over to the artist who is assigned to do the job on you.

The Best Source of Ideas

The first source for tattoo designs is your own creative inclination. Think about a cartoon character or a certain concept. With your creative juices pouring out, you may generate a sweet, sexy, strong, or tough impression depending on the design that you decide to get tattooed on your skin.

The next source is the tattoo library. You will find a lot of online websites that store as much as 10,000 and above designs from the classic up to the contemporary. Some of the websites allow free access whereas some others ask for a small fee.

Of course, you may browse through the tattoo artists’ catalogues too. If you are lucky enough, you may spot their personal creations.

There are lots of tattoo ideas to choose from. You may opt for something romantic, something that is tough, or something that simply defines your hidden side. Your decision greatly depends on the image that you want to project. Hence, you must be wise enough to pick out the right design and scout for the best resources that come available.

The History of Tattooing

The population of those with inked or colored skin is growing by leaps and bounds. In recent years, tattooing has become much more mainstream. But what is a tattoo? Where did they begin?

Tattooing is the process by which colored dyes or inks are inserted beneath the surface of the skin with some type of sharp tool. In today’s western world, tattoos are most often done with a motorized needle. In other countries, however, tattoos are inflicted on a person with a homemade instrument, by hand, over a period of several days, sometimes months. In such cultures, the art of tattooing has not changed for thousands of years.

Archaeologists have reported finding tools they think were most likely used for tattooing in many digs all across the continent of Europe. The objects are round an flat. They are made of clay and have openings at the top where needles made from bone are inserted. They were probably used as a source of pigment and a reservoir, and the bone needles were used to apply ink to the skin. Engraved figures of clay and stone from the same era have been discovered with these instruments. It is thought that these engravings represented tattoos.

In 1991, the oldest known tattooed man was discovered. He was a mummy from the Bronze Age, which was more than 5,000 years ago. It is hypothesized that the man was caught in a snow storm while hunting. There were a bow and arrows, a bronze ax, and flint found with the body, frozen inside a glacier. Among the Bronze man’s tattoos are “a cross on the inside of the left knee, and six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys.” These tattoos are thought by experts to be either ornamental or, perhaps, to represent social status or magical meaning.

The History Channel online encyclopedia states that tattoos were being inked into Egyptians’ skin as early as 2000 B.C. According to Dr. W.D. Hambly, author of The History of Tattooing And It’s Significance, published in 1925, there is archaeological evidence which indicates that tattooing could have begun several hundred years earlier than 2000 B.C. Made in Egypt between 4000 and 2000 B.C., Egyptian female clay figurines which have markings by puncture tattoo have been discovered. Two of these tattooed dolls are on display in the museum at Oxford University.

From Egypt, the art of tattooing spread around the world. The 3rd and 4th Dynasties were the golden age of Egyptian pyramid-building. The massive tombs still
standing at Giza were constructed during this time. During this time, between 2800 and 2000 B.C., the art of tattooing began to spread across the globe, to Arabia, Greece, Persia, and Asia.

The types of tattoos and instruments used in their application vary from culture to culture, as does the meaning. In the early days of tattooing, most of the time tattooing or scarification was applied to indicate a person’s social status within a tribe. A tattoo could indicate a person’s high ranking social status in one culture, or one’s a low societal ranking in another culture. Tattoos have been used throughout history to show religious affiliation and loyalty, and since the time of the first tattoo there have been those who were inked for merely decorative purposes.

Tattooing is an invasive, painful procedure that can result in serious health problems if not done correctly. If done by an inexperienced and ill-prepared artist, a tattoo could spell death for someone in the form of AIDS or hepatitis. If done correctly, however, a tattoo is priceless, a personalized piece of art that lasts a lifetime.