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Would you like to know more about tattoos? If yes, you are at the right place.

What is a tattoo?

It is a puncture wound, a design, or a mark usually made deep under your outer skin layer with ink. A tattoo is created by injecting ink into your skin using a penetrating needle. Tattoos are so long-lasting because the ink is injected directly into the dermis. The dermis is the second layer of your skin below the epidermis. Layer 2 skin cells are stable, and that makes your tattoo practically permanent. The epidermis layer is not used because it is unstable meaning that it keeps producing and shedding its cells throughout your life.

The word “tattoo” has two main derivations: one from the Tahitian term “tatau” which means “mark something” and second the Polynesian term “ta” which means “strike something.” Certain age restrictions may dictate the right age for having a tattoo depending on the region you reside in. Before you get one, check with the recognized tattoo shop for jurisdictions or local laws specifying their requirements. Most of the time before getting a tattoo, you will be required to have at least 18 years or if not have parental consent.

The origin of tattoos

The art of tattooing has been there all over the world before Neolithic times according to archeologists who found signs of tattoos on the ancient mummified preserved skin. Both the archeological and ancient art findings have indicated the possible existence of tattoo tools during Europe’s Upper Paleolithic period. However, the direct evidence found on mummified skins dates back to only around 4th millennium BC with the oldest discovery (Otzi the Iceman body) dating around 3100 to 3370 BC.

More evidence of mummies with tattoos has been discovered from at least 49 sites including archeological locations in the Andes, the Philippines, Sudan, Egypt, Western China, Mongolia, Siberia, Alaska, and Greenland. Those mummies include some from several pre-Columbian South American cultures, Russian cultures including the Siberian mummies and the ancient Egypt Goddess Hathor Priestess named Amunet.

What do they represent?

Tattoos have been in use for many years in some cultures to represent ceremonial passages and rites all over the world. In some African cultures, they are worn to pay respect, honor or mark special events. When used to unite two bodies, the ash remains one body is inked to the skin of the other body. Mostly, tattoos tell us a story, and they can be created using any language. A professional tattooist can create your tale on a canvas be it font designs, words, or symbols depicting cultural images.

Since the tattoos possess the artful ability to represent anything, you can use them to pay tribute to life’s companions and purpose or to celebrate life’s choices and milestones. Many people opt to remember their loved ones and honor their life events and traditions with a tattoo. Currently, movies and TV shows are using the tattoo idea to depict membership to a secret society. In the early West, Britons used the art of tattooing in their ceremonies. On the other hand, Greeks used them as a form of communication among spies. Whether the tattoos are used to express love themes, hobbies, interests or just as a memorial piece, they deserve some respect as they are very rich in cultural history.

Why do people get tattoos?

The reasons why people get a tattoo falls under four broad categories including:

  • Identity reinforcement – many people across the world use them to stress their main identity or to remind themselves who they are. Some identities may be portraying “I am strong”, “I am special”, I am dangerous” or anything else you are proud of.
  • Identity revelation – contrary to many beliefs, people with tattoos do care about how you judge them, for example, they can have a tattoo to send a message about something. Some message could be indicating that he or she doesn’t like to be disturbed, messed with and so on.
  • Important values reminder – most of the symbols in the tattoo world have a special meaning hidden in them. After looking at somebody’s tattoo for the first time, you may not understand or get the correct meaning of his or her tattoo. Why? Because you can only interpret the meaning if you know how it relates to someone.
  • Traditional and modern practices – these practices can be cultural, political, religious, and behavioral. From the ancient times, people have been getting them to symbolize their cultural practices while the current generation is getting them to express a lot of things including fun, groups, culture, and music among other things.

Why are tattoos popular?

They have become more popular because they are being embraced by the fashion industry, athletes, and celebrities, but all that owes much to the media. The media has slowly assisted in changing the tattoo stigmas meaning that people having them are not always those with low morale and criminals. Currently, they are being recognized as expressions of one’s design styles, and they have evolved from being traditional tattoos to custom sleeves, and body works gorgeous art that makes even those who fear the tattoo machine to become tempted.

What to consider before getting a tattoo?

Before getting it, proper consideration about time, place, culture, religion and so on should be placed first to avoid regretting your decision later. To avoid running for tattoo removal, avoid getting hasty ones. Make sure you take enough time going through tattoo art styles so as to narrow down your desired personal style. The more and more you pay attention to the body art, the more you will find yourself interested in particular styles.

The selection of a tattoo artist is also an imperative thing to consider. Take some time to carry out some research regarding the top artists in the tattooing field new your area. You can opt to watch some latest tattoo shows so that you can develop an eye for art as well as learn some basic techniques and styles. By studying the modern painters' and artists' work, you can get a good insight into what you want. To take your interests further, you can explore mythology and literature to help relate the sentimental things you would like to be in your tattoo design.