The History of Tattoos and Piercings

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Looking around today, a person may notice that there is more color and metal to be seen than even ten years ago. Why is this? The abundance of color and metal is due to the increase of body art. More people are turning their skin into walking, talking canvases. Art is not just something to hang on walls, but is a living, breathing phenomenon. This trend is growing all over and with many different types of people. The taboos against tattoos and piercings are finding less of a handhold as more people fall in love with them. Tattoos and piercings have a long, fascinating history and the popularity is steadily growing. There was a time when tattoos and piercings were, by many people, considered offensive as well as disgusting. The views once held are beginning to relax as people become more open-minded on the subject. This is not a new trend however. Tattoos and piercings can boast a long, illustrious history. Tattoos and piercings date back to early man. According to Etyonline, an online etymology dictionary, the word tattoo is derived from the Tahitian and Samoan word tatau and the Marquesan tatu, both of which mean puncture, mark made on the skin. The oldest recorded tattoos are believed to be from about 3300 B.C. They were found on the body of the Iceman found in the Otzal Alps in 1991. Professor Konrad Spindler of the Innsbruck University theorized that the Iceman’s 57 tattoos were probably done with charcoal and were possibly done for ornamental, magical, or maybe even social status. (Wiman-Rudzinski, 2002) Tattoos can be found throughout history from all corners of the world. The reasons for them and the meanings behind them vary from place to place, culture to culture. Some of the known locations for tattooing are: Egypt, the Pacific, and Siberia; Central and South America; Japan, Rome and Greece; North America, France and England. Every culture had a

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