The History of Tattoo Application and Tools essay

Nowadays a tattoo is a permanent marking made by inserting ink into the layers of skin with an aim to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons. Tattoo applications and tools greatly changed from ancient times to our days. Tattoos on humans are a type of decorative body modification that needs the perfect quality, while tattoos on animals are most commonly used for identification or branding. It is necessary to discuss the history of tattoo application and tools through the body of this paper.

Deep historical analysis of tattoo’s applications show us that originally for creation of tattoos were used the thorns of different plants, fish and animal bones. Tradition of tattoo, or “application on the body of special patterns and pictures”, leaved roots in ancient times. Long before appearance of architecture, music and other kinds of art our ancestors decorated dwelling rock with pictures, and body with tattoos. An art of tattoo is part of world culture and, both appearing, both disappearing or regenerating again, passes through all history of humanity from the most ancient Egyptian burial places, whose age counts four millenniums, to our days. Archaeological excavations prove that a tattoo was widespread practically all over the world. Ancient people used it in religious rituals, as an amulet and simply as a decoration. Greeks pricked in cipher tattoos the spies, and Romans branded criminals and slaves in such way. Almost all nations had identical techniques of tattoos application, and also they had similar patterns that described vegetable or geometrical decorative ornament, images of animals, birds and so on. The special role in history of art of tattoo belongs to Japanese and Polynesian traditions, because both of them had strong tattoo traditions.

Saying about ancient times we see that the surprising variety of methods of causing of tattoos appeared in different cultures. In North and South America many Indian tribes inflict on a body tattoos usually by simple pricks, and some tribes in California entered dye in scratches. Many tribes of Arctic and some people in East Siberia, used a home-made needle and prick skin with their help, then they stretch out a filament covered with pigment through a puncture. In Polynesia and Micronesia, dye stick into skin by a little spinning disk with needles which in the same queue moisten with dye during rotation. According to the information from web site we see that “Ancient Thai Tattooing: This ancient tattoo tool works just like the Western machine. The tattoo tradition here is tied to Buddhism and designs are religious symbols. It is made with a long brass tube, and a sliding pointed rod running down the centre. The artist dips it in ink, keeping a steady hand against the client’s skin while the other pierces the skin like the needle of a sewing machine.” (

Based on above stated we see that the history of tattoo applications has an old roots and the most important factor in the mass-produced tattoo was the electric tattoo machine. Tattoo guns are the best instrument to use for a long time, as they move extremely fast and are sharp enough to easily puncture the skin. In such a way we see that there are many different tattoo tools used in different cultures but the main of them are sharp needle in hands of professional and special tattoo gun.

Thus, taking into account all above stated we could come to the conclusion that technologies of tattoo constantly developed and perfected. Great number of producers of instrument and consumable materials constantly competes for user that provides steady growth of quality of the produced commodities. Modern tattoo passed the way from an ordinary needle to electric razor. We understand that tattooing has come a long way, but exactly today it became a respected form of art and many people perceive it with admiration.

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