The History of the Tattoo

tattoo2Nowadays virtually anywhere you go you will see someone with a tattoo. They have become modern day staples of society. However, tattoos have a storied history dating back to 12000 B.C. The earliest recording of tattoos were dated to the ancient Egyptians during the construction of the pyramids and when the Egyptian empire expanded, so did tattooing.

Different cultures use the tattoo in different ways. In Borneo, women were tattooed based on what skills they possessed, the Romans used tattoos to mark criminals and the Normans tattooed family crests (a practice that still goes on today).

Although we may not acknowledge it, tattoos have meant a numerous amount of things in the past and, in a way, we each carry a small portion of this history if we have a tattoo. Tattooing became prominent in Britain during the 8th century, yet in 787 AD, Pope Hadrian banned tattoos. He felt they were unethical, and also were prone to causing infection.

The latter point is quite interesting actually. With little knowledge about hygiene at the time, tattoos failed to receive the proper aftercare and thus would often be areas for disease to flourish. Luckily, nowadays we have a wide variety of tattoo aftercare products that ensure our tattoos heal properly and look gorgeous! That being said, society at the time was quite divided over the prospect of tattooing. The Norman invasion of 1066 was very much the breaking point as tattooing seemed to disappear from western culture from the 12th to 16th centuries!

In Britain, a man named William Dampher was responsible for reintroducing tattoos in the 17th century. His travels to Polynesia saw him meet heavily tattooed tribes who taught him the art of tattooing. Upon returning to Britain he spread his newfound knowledge and the tattoo was once more reborn.

From that point forward, the tattoo has flourished in western society. The tattoo industry is now booming and knowledge about tattoos is at an all time high. Anyone who has a tattoo should proudly carry this rich legacy and take joy in the knowledge that they are continuing such a long standing tradition!