Tattooing, by technical definition, is the process of skin marking through epidermal ink insertion to change the pigmentation of the skin for aesthetic, decorative or other purposes. In some cultures, tattooing is synonymous to branding. Practiced worldwide, tattooing is multicultural as crosses all boundaries of beliefs and traditions.

Tattoos can be traced as far back as 10,000 BC, when Eurasians still traveled between the great continents of Asia Major and Western Europe. Simple designs were then used, such as lines and dots. Mummies of ancient Egypt also bear tattoos as symbols of cultural hierarchy. In Japan, use of tattoos dates back to some ten thousand years ago.

These historical traditions symbolize tattoos for various beliefs like rites of passage, religious and even magical reasons. In the Philippines, certain tribal groups believe that tattoos have magical qualities and that they will protect them from evil elementals roaming the earth. Maoris of New Zealand use modified tattoos to reflect social status called Ta Moko. Instead of needles, chisels carve the skin to create grooves in the face instead of a smooth skin. The process is extremely painful but the markings were also considered an attractive feature.

In modern times, tattoos are being used for cosmetic, sentimental, religious and identification purposes. The Japanese Yakuza wear tattoos called irezumi to symbolize loyalty. This process is very expensive and time consuming, sometimes taking years to complete a body suit design. Nowadays, Japanese youngsters opt to veer from the traditional irezumi and follow western style designs.

Because of western influences, particularly fashion, tattoos are gaining more and more popularity in terms of self-expression than as a cultural symbol. Celebrities sport various tattoos in their bodies which in turn are typically emulated by their fans. Many modern day mothers wear tattoos and sometimes even encourage their children to have tattoos also. Some business tycoons also have tattoos and still earn much respect from the public. In other words, tattooing has evolved into something more aesthetic and accepted in essence, rather than culturally symbolic. And more and more people are having commemorative tattoos, tattoos that commemorate the life and death of a loved person or pet, or simply an event or group they belong to. You could call a tattoo more than a skin-canvas; you could call it a skin-scrapbook of your life and adventures and loves.


Shop At