TATTOO — 50 Interesting Facts

Body decoration is one of the most ancient ways to express a person’s creativity.

In different periods of civilization’s existence, tattoos were a tool to save yourself from evil spirits, a sign of dignity, and a talisman for a safe trip back home. The first tattoos appeared around 60 thousand years ago. They were not saved in written form, but were found on the bodies of mummies (which are quite young, around 6 thousand yearsold).

Tattoo primitive people

Though it is known, that the art of body decorations with the help of tattoos existed in the period of primitive communal system. It served not only as a decoration but pointed to the social status of its owner and moreover, it had a magical power.

It served not only as a decoration but pointed to the social status of its owner and moreover, it had a magical power.

Tattoo in ancient India

There are no definite facts to explain how the tradition of getting tattoos appeared in the first place, but there is a theory that it was a logical process from natural damages people got during the Stone Age.

The culture of ancient Japanese tattoos

Injuries and bruises merged into strange scars, which made people different from the others, it showed the courage and luck.

A tattoo of a descendant of the ancient Mayan

Meanwhile, primitive families were getting bigger and united into communities.

Tattoo primitive people supporting the status – on the man’s face

At this time, communities started to put ink on the skin on purpose, all of them had different meanings among the members.

Tattoo primitive people – the girl’s face

Mainly the population of Indonesia and Polynesia,

Tattoo Polynesian inhabitants of the tribe

where the practice of tattoos is still passed from generation to generation serves as the best anthropological proof of tattoos social meaningfulness. All the spheres of life of these people were connected with tattoos from birth to death, and there was no single part of the body which couldn’t be marked with tattoos. In ancient times, the face was the fist part to be inked, as it is always visible.

Tattoo of the Maori in New Zealand

Tribal people of Maori from New Zealand were and are still wearing masking tattoos called Moko.

Face tattoos – men of the Maori

These strange, mixed up designs served as a constant warpaint and as a sign of dignity and social status.

The tattoo on his face – a woman of the tribe of Ainu

Women belonging to the Japanese aborigines Ainu marked their marital status with face ink.

Tattoo Japanese Yakuza

You could tell by the look at the design on the lips or cheeks if the woman was married or not, and even the number of kids she had. In other nations, the rich amount of tattoos symbolized the level of fertility and endurance of a woman. In some places, the situation with tattoos was totally ridiculous, children born from women with no tattoos were killed immediately.

Tattoos are connected with so-called transitional customs, either admission of a young man into a mature one, or transfer from this life into after death. Different nations believed that tattoos had magical features such as kids were protected from parent’s anger, adults were protected during fights, old people were safe from diseases. In the 18 th and 19th centuries, sailors used to put a huge cross on their backs in hope to avoid physical punishment, which was spread around the English marines. In one of the Japanese provinces, the tattooed horizontal line across the forehead was done as a punishment for the first crime. Even in ancient China, a tattoo was used as one of the punishment means.

Tattoo of a member of the Chinese Triad

If to talk about our times, during the first World War the tattoo “D” meant that a person was a deserter.

Unfortunately during the Christianity establishment, the art of tattooing was actively exterminated, as a sign of profane rituals. The taboo on tattoos was so severe, that they were not performed among Europeans until 18 century. Civilization and technological progress lowered ancient art to the level of cheap consumer grade. The demand for high quality tattoos was so low, that the tattoo masters became lazy, they lost the stimulus for creativity and new stylistic inventions. And it was then, when the first tattoo machine was invented in 1891 by O’Reiley.

Maud Wagner the first known female tattoo master, 1907

Even this technological progress didn’t move the condition of the art of tattoos. Only due to the huge activation of youth culture in the 50-60s, a new generation of tattoo masters appeared.

19th century tattoos on chest men – Tarzan in the jungle

Finally the new experiments, innovations, and creative ideas were appearing here and there.

19th century tattoo on hest men – ship, the eagle, the chest

The tattoo became again a form of art. Thus, a new period, modern one started the period of tattoo development in which we live in now.

Types of Tattoos

The world of tattoos is extremely rich, and is considered to be one of the streams in modern art. Therefore it is necessary to point out different types of tattoos. According to the application way there are:

  1. Permanent tattoos – They are applied under the skin by means of one or more needles. Such a type doesn’t lose totally its color during its life and can be removed only by means of modern equipment.

    Permanent tattoo on forearm for men

    The major role in permanent tattoos is coloring material. Permanent tattoos may consist of one or more coloring materials.

    Permanent color tattoo on the forearm of the guy

  1. Temporary tattoos – They tend to lose the color and in some time disappear.

    Temporary henna tattoo on hands women

    Usually the coloring materials of plant origin are used in such types of tattoos (henna or more rare basma).

    Temporary tattoo by Basma on the girl’s hand

    Tattoo masters often use coloring made of artificial elements.

    Temporary white henna tattoo on back girl

    Temporary tattoos are often found in Muslim countries, where they serve as a key decoration of the bride’s body.

    Temporary white henna tattoo on hand girls

  1. Cosmetic tattoos(permanent make up) – This is a modern tendency among young women.

    Permanent makeup for eyebrows, eyes and lips girls

    It is used to intensify new shades and outlines, masking skin defects. Usually women prefer to tattoo eye brows and eyes. Permanent make up can be considered as a temporary tattoo, as it can serve from 1-5 years only.

Tattoo Styles

All the tattoos can be referred to different styles. Due to historical tattoo development, there are few common styles, among which people are choosing their own sketches:

  1. Polynesian -This tattoo has the same long history as its culture.

    Tattoo Polynesia – the whole body of the men of the tribe

    They are extremely unique and ancient.

    Polynesia tattoo symbols on the man’s face

    They don’t look like anything else. Usually they are very complicated, consisting of a few meaningful layers.

    Polynesia tattoo on a man’s body Polynesian symbols

    A large number of tattoos and beautiful sketches were considered as a sign of a noble origin,

    Tattoo Polynesia – on the shoulder of the guy with the turtle Polynesian symbols

    therefore the right to cover all body with ink had only headmen and their close relatives.

  1. Old school -Sometimes all new is well overlooked compared to the old.

    Old school tattoo on girl breast

    This style developed in the 19th century and didn’t lose its popularity, on the contrary! These tattoos were brought by the sailors who traveled to Polynesia, and Hawaii

    Old school tattoo on back girls – owl

    and saw the sketches on the bodies of the local aborigines and were astonished by their beauty.

    Old school tattoo on guy chest – eagle with skull

    At that time all the tattoos carried a meaning which is seamen getting tattoos believed it is going to save them from shipwreck and falling overboard.

    Old school tattoo on the girl’s arm – skull and rose

    Thus, nowadays everybody can choose such a tattoo.

    Old school tattoo on back girl skull

  1. Chicano style -What does it mean? Family devotion.

    Chicano style tattoo chest guy – mask

    In the US,

    Chicano style tattoo on forearm guy girl with mask

    among the Mexican bands were extremely popular the sketches of clowns, meaning,

    Chicano style tattoo  on arm guy – Laugh now, cry later

    “Laugh now, cry after”,

    Chicano style tattoo on forearm guy

    “My happy life, my sad life”.

    Chicano tattoo style on back girl

    Though the images of beautiful women and cars

    Chicano style tattoo on the man’s hand – auto

    are also popular in this style.

    Chicano style tattoo on forearm men

  1. Biomechanics-It is a unique stream in tattoo art,

    Biomechanics tattoo on forearm guy

    which combines living with non living items.

    Biomechanics tattoo on head men

    It helps you feel yourself as a cyborg in human body.

    Biomechanics tattoo on back men

    Mechanical equipment in action

    Biomechanics tattoo on chest men

    and static obtain a new meaning in this style.

    Biomechanics tattoo on head guy

  1. New school For those who value bright,

    Tattoo New school colored cat on back girls

    brave and

    New school tattoo on hand guy

    extraordinary ideas,

    New school tattoo on chest guy

    this style will be the most appropriate.

    New school tattoo on hand guy

    It is noticeable from very far

    New school tattoo on neck guy


    New school tattoo on forearm guy gramophone

    attracts people’s attention right away!

    New school tattoo on chest guy birds and heart

    It is totally different from all styles of tattoos.

    New school tattoo on neck guy bird

  1. Dotwork -The pictures consist of numerous dots,

    Dotwork tattoo on guy back the maze

    and look very effective

    Dotwork tattoo on back girl skull with horns

    in different styles.

    Dotwork tattoo on guy’s forearm

    The number of details

    Dotwork tattoo on guy’s forearm dot flower

    used allows to create exactly

    Dotwork tattoo on girl’s hand

    what you are looking for even

    Dotwork tattoo on guy – black cat

    realistic sketches.

    Dotwork tattoo on guy’s forearm – flower

  1. Trible -It is traditional tribe style.

    Trible tattoo on forearm guy

    It is a very extraordinary

    Trible tattoo on hand guy

    and catchy one.

    Trible tattoo on head guy


    Trible tattoo  forearm – lion

    bright figures

    Trible tattoo on the stomach of the girl

    don’t only look familiar but also carry a deep meaning as this style

    Tattoo Trible on the shoulders of a kid

    took its roots from ancient traditions.

    Trible tattoo on forearm guy

  1. 3D tattoos -The idea for 3d tattoos

    3D tattoo on forearm guy – Leo

    appeared as soon as the tattoo masters managed to draw volumetric designs of the picture, raising all pictures to the level of just few millimeters,

    3D tattoo back girls – woodcarving

    but the effect of volume was tremendous.

    3D tattoo back girls – list

    If you are a real tattoo lover and addicted to it,

    3D tattoo on back guy – Scorpio

    this style is for you to get away from simple

    3D tattoo – back girl butterfly

    and well tried patterns into really original 3D

    3D tattoo on hand girls – dragonfly

    dimension tattoos.

    3D tattoos on forearm for girls – rose red

The Procedure of getting a Tattoo

The work for a tattoo starts with applying a rough drawing and a tattoo master decides by himself the way he is going to apply it. It depends on the peculiarities of the sketch, location, skin condition and personal preferences of the master. Some prefer to use a transfer pencil, which is moisturized during work. It allows drawing a picture one time only. The details and shades are not copied, these items are drawn while putting on the ink.

The rough drawing can be created on a special three layered paper. The first layer is a paper with a picture itself, the second – copy, and the one third is a transparent paper, reminding tracing one. The chosen design is transferred to the tracing paper. Then the drawing is transferred to the person’s body with the help of three layers.

The most experienced masters can do a drawing without any additional material, they just need a gel pen and their professional abilities. Such a way has a lot of advantages, as all the mistakes can be easily corrected by removing the signs of a pen. Besides the peculiarities of a person’s body, like muscles, birth marks can be harmonized perfectly with a tattoo.

Putting designs on the body is done with special electric equipment, it is supplied with vibrating needles which put the coloring material under the skin. Needles can be of two types with holes through which the color goes, and without. Needles without holes are put into colors while the procedure is done. Nowadays, the electric machine for tattoos is the best so far, as it makes the sketch thoroughly colored. The vessels are minimally damaged thanks to not too deep pin holes.

Colors and Coloring Materials for Tattoos

The art of getting tattoos depends on the professionalism of the master, quality of theequipment and of course coloring material. It is a base for the perfect sketch on the body. High quality colors will make sure that a tattoo will not fade and turn into a blurred spot.

Black color is the most used in tattoo designs. It is created on the base of animal’s bones carbons and consists of black iron oxide, oil tar and thus. Coloring materials are firm and insoluble materials. Therefore a liquid item that is mixed with coloring material is used. Usually such items are water, spirit, and glycerin. There are also add ons used to provide the stability of color.

Tattoos and Religion

Being an ancient art, a tattoo is connected with different religions and each of them has its own attitude as to whether it is appropriate or not. Some religions do not allow any kind of sketches on the body, even carrying religious motifs. Here are some of the examples of the religious attitude on tattoos:

  1. Buddhism -According to Buddhism sketches depicting various animals

    Buddhism tattoo on forearm for men dragon

    done by local monks in Tibet to everybody who wishes to have a tattoo protects people from evil forces.

    Buddhism tattoo on his neck, guy – tiger

    But they believe also,

    Buddhism tattoo on back for men Buddha

    that one day in a year,

    Buddhism tattoo on forearm for men – the head of an elephant

    animals depicted on the tattoos inculcate into the owners body

    Buddhism tattoo on back men – tiger

    and mind.

    Buddhism tattoo on back girls – flower

  1. Islam -Body decoration is an old eastern tradition.

    Islam henna tattoo on the girl’s face

    Egyptian women covered their faces with tattoos and men used to draw birds on their temples.

    Islam henna tattoo on stomach girl

    The question of tattoos and Islam is very serious. According to Islam your body is a work of Allah or God.

    Islam henna tattoo on back girls

    By putting the permanent ink on,

    Islam henna tattoos on a girl’s body

    you disgrace God’s work.

    Islam henna tattoos on feet girls

    Therefore Henna tattoos are used instead, because they are temporary and disappear in some time.

  1. Hinduism -This religion doesn’t restrict the tattoos

    Hinduism tattoo on back guy – the symbol Om

    but on the contrary is the source for many new designs

    Hinduism tattoo on back girl – the Om symbol

    and the well known sign “Om”.

    Hinduism tattoo on the kid’s hand – the symbol Om

    In the past, Hindu women

    Hinduism tattoo on back girl – the Om symbol

    used to put the name of their husband on the forearm.

    Hinduism tattoo on back men

    The only restricted tattoos

    Hinduism tattoo on wrist girls – the symbol Om

    are those which somehow disrespect

    Hinduism tattoo on back girl

    Hindu religion.

    Hinduism tattoo on wrist girls – the symbol Om

  1. Christianity -When it comes to Christianity, the famous Bible quote is used in all times: ”Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos.

    Christianity tattoo on the forearm of a guy – the cross

    I am the Lord”. According to this quote it is obvious that tattoos are not allowed,

    Christianity tattoo on back for men cross

    but one thing is forgotten: this quote is taken out from the context, which claims not to use pagan rituals or witchcraft.

    Christianity tattoo on forearm men – Jesus

    Having a tattoo will not make you less religious,

    Christianity tattoo on back men, Jesus Christ

    that’s for sure.

    Christianity tattoo on forearm for men cross

Removing Tattoos

People who already removed the tattoos know that this process takes more time than putting the ink on your body. Moreover removing tattoos hurts also more than its creation. Nevertheless, medicine has a wide range of tools to remove tattoos safely and for good:

  1. Dazzle painting -You can’t say that this way actually removes the tattoo, as the color material still stays in the skin. This method lies in putting on another tattoo instead of the old one, the paint of which is maximally close to the natural skin color. This method has its disadvantages, as the tattoo won’t look natural no matter how professionally it is performed, as skin in this area doesn’t have its own transparency. This method is used only to hide small tattoos or light colored ones.
  2. Extirpation -The layer of the epidermis containing tattoo is cut out. This procedure is extremely painful, performed with local anesthesia and is suitable only for medium sized tattoos. The main disadvantage of this tattoo is a scar. But you can remove the whole tattoo during only one session.
  1. Cryosurgery – This isa deep freezing of skin with liquid nitrogen. It is applied on the layer of skin until a light layer of ice appears on the skin. Numerous applications of liquid nitrogen on the skin causes a thermal burn, this layer dries out and in a week or so falls apart. A small scar is left after this procedure which will disappear for good in some time.
  1. Mechanical method -Tattoos are removed with the upper layer of skin with the help of a cutter. The session is done in two parts. During the first part the upper layer is removed, giving access to the coloring material. During the second part of the procedure the deeper layer of skin is removed. The procedure is not the safest one, as there is a high risk of getting infected. Therefore, you should be extremely careful with this method.
  1. Laser This method is burning a tattoo together with an upper layer of skin. To burn the tattoo with a laser is easier, faster and painless comparing to the other ways. But there is a high possibility of leaving a scar, and the healing time is quite long.

Taking Care of a Tattoo

Every tattoo demands regular care for faster and painless healing. The skin care starts as soon as the bandage is removed. First of all, the skin should be washed with cool water, no drying since it is better not to touch the tattooed spot. The skin should dry in a natural way. In the first few days, it is necessary to wash it with a soap while showering to prevent a sketch from drying. During a month, it is better to avoid direct sun or at least a strong sun protection cream should be used. But don’t totally block this spot, the air is extremely necessary! The less air is coming to the tattoo, the longer the healing process will take. Very often a thin crust appears on a new done tattoo and it is forbidden to touch, scratch and remove it. Otherwise it can lead to scars and infection.

A Few Fun Facts about Tattoos

  1. During the Vietnam war one soldier made a smart tattoo: two bad words on the right palm side. The tattoo was seen only while making “Salute”, which was the reason he wasn’t taken into the army.
  1. Lucky Diamond Rich is a man with the biggest number of tattoos on this body. It is all covered with tattoos including ear lobes, inner part of the ear, skin between the fingers and even preputium.
  1. The Catholic church doesn’t mind the tattoos. Before tattoos were made on the bodies of people who just converted to Christianity. Crosses or crucifixions were done for purpose so that people couldn’t change the religion. Nowadays there are more than a hundred officially registered associations of Christian tattoos, which offer such services as making tattoo with pictures from Bible and texts. If you wish, they can even bless it for you.

Getting Tattoos: Pros and Cons

One thing should be remembered for sure: gettinga  tattoo is for real and for a lifetime. This step should be carefully thought through. The main question to be asked is  why you are getting it? Is it to stand out, to leave a memory mark or just for decoration? You should take into account the part of the body you plan to ink, how it is going to change with age, or your physical state, including pregnancy. Fast and abrupt decisions to get a tattoo usually don’t bring good results. Tattoos ar a form of an art and should be treated respectfully, considering their origin and history. They make people different from the others, leaving a shade of mystery of its owner, because all the tattoos carry meaning. This thought should be taken into account, as tattoos will create a certain opinion about you. If you don’t really care – it’s perfect, but usually people tend to be influenced by social opinion. Though it is your body and you are its master.

Sketches of Tattoos