Attention Getter: Everyone here has admired art. Whether a painting, sculpture, or music, to name a few. Thesis: Tattoos are an ancient and respected art. Preview: Many cultures have developed their own versions of tattooing. Originating in the ancient times, it has stayed an intricate part of how humans define themselves as individuals. Body 1 Origin of the word Tattoo The English word tattoo originates originally from the diary of Captain James Cook, an English explorer and cartographer.
Upon his travels he was brought to Polynesia. In his journal he states finding “tattooed savages”. The word Tattoo derives from the Tahitian word Tatau, which means “to mark”. There after it has been in the English dictionary ever since. Famous specimens discovered (Beginning timeline) There have been discoveries around the world of tattooed individuals, some going as far back as 5000 years! In Oct 1991, they found one frozen between Austria and Italy.
The man, “Otzi” had a few distinct tattoos: a cruciform mark on the inside left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters in length above his kidneys, and numerous small straight lines on his lumbar, legs and ankles. That actually signifies potential acupuncture use before it was even documented! Professor Konrad Spindler of Innsbruck University stated that “stated that the position of the tattoo marks suggests that they were probably applied for therapeutic reasons”. In 1948 between Russia and China, Russian archeologist Sergei Rudenko discovered a mass grave.
The individuals inside were Scythian. Upon observing the bodies they noted numerous tattoos. Creatures, Griffins and monsters were displayed on their bodies. 1891, in Egypt Amunet was discovered. (The Priestess of the god Hathor, who lived in Thebes around 2160 and 1994 BC) On her body she had dots and lines tattooed. Some grouping dots and dashes were made into abstract geometric patterns. Egyptians are also widely thought to be the civilization that spread the art of tattooing around the world, as far as Polynesia. Art pieces, books, other evidence of ancient tattoos
Japan has some of the oldest evidence of tattoos within their culture. (According to Irezumi, they extend back to the Paleolithic area – 10,000 BC) Theirs dates back about 3000 BC in the medium of figurines. The figurines recovered from the tombs have faces painted or engraved to represent tattoo markings. The traditional Japanese tattoo is full body in design, with elaborate colors. Transition: So tattoos have been around for a few millennia, but what was the main significance? What do they mean to the cultures they derive from? Body 2
Tattoos as a status symbol within different cultures (Criminology, wealth, warriors) The Chinese have mostly regarded tattoos with a negative mindset. Used for criminal marking purposes, people who had them were thought to be barbaric or “gangster” in nature. This thought began with the Han Dynasty, continuing through to the Qing Dynasty. In Japan, traditional full body tattoos were a status symbol for Lords and upper hierarchy. (Along with Samurai) Tattoos given during 1603-1868, were only worn by workers, firemen and prostitutes.
They were specifically used to show a persons’ status within Society. In between 1720-1870 tattoos were used for criminal identification Samoan’s held tattoos in a very high regard. The skills of the artists were passed down from father to son, for generations. To this day the custom hasn’t changed, that’s been over 2000 years of traditional technique! Religious meaning, or prohibitions Body 3 Methods of inscribing – tools (Ancient) Method of inscribing – tools (Modern) Types of ink used (Ancient) Types of ink used (Modern)