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Tattoo - The Concept Tattoo is used as a form of body modification to create a design, usually permanent, on various parts of body. They can be employed for a multitude of reasons, like tradition, identification, medicinal purposes, or for fashion. The color pigment, which is an indelible liquid, is inserted in the skin in such a way that it colors several layers of it and settles there permanently. The term 'tattoo' was derived from the Polynesian word 'tatau.' This art has been prevalent in various parts of the world, since antiquity. The History The evidence of tattooing in Japan traces back to the 5th Century B.C. However, Gishiwajinden, the Chinese historical account, describes face tattooing by the Japanese men in the 3rd Century B.C.! Around the 18th Century A.D., prostitutes used dot like tattoos. In 1720, tattooing of letters or circles on the forehead or on arms was legalized as a punishment for financial crimes and frauds. After the Horeki Era (1751-1764), first pictorial tattoos appeared in Japan. As the modernization of Japan began, tattoos were banned in the year 1872, citing them as a mark of barbarism. The ban was finally lifted in the year 1948. Several mummies, which date back to 2000 to 5000 A.D., exhumed from Ancient Egypt and the Alps region between Italy & Austria, also carry tattoos. These were simple designs, like lines or dots in monochromatic ink, rather than elaborate patterns. Germany and other parts northern & central Europe also witnessed the use of tattoos among its natives, in the Pre-Christian era. These tribes used organic woad extracts and copper compounds as dying agents. The art of tattooing was prevalent in India since ancient times. Mostly the leaves of a plant known as 'mehendi' were used to create a 'temporary' pigment. The paste of the leaves was used to create elaborate designs on the skin. It was washed-off on drying, leaving behind red-orange patterns by etching through the layers of the skin. The evidence of the use of permanent dyes and iron needles process were also found. Conclusion These days, professional studios use motor-operated tattooing tools. The studios lay special emphasis on hygiene concerns. The patterns these studios use vary widely from religious themes to abstract art, names & initials to faces, and so on. Now a days, a large number of tattoo designs are copyrighted, which are later sold as flash (sample designs) directly to parlors, or online to the internet community.

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an

online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. Please visit the website at It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited.

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Western Art - Tattoo - A Trendy Segment of Body Art  

Conclusion These days, professional studios use motor-operated tattooing tools. The studios lay special emphasis on hygiene concerns. The pa...

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