History of Tattoo – A Complete Tattoo Journey

History of tattoo

Tattoo is the best form of self-expression and becoming the fastest growing trend nowadays. Even in some regions, tattooing is attached to some cultural significance.

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Some people even make a tattoo in order to make their soul pure and refined but many of us don’t know the history of tattoo or don’t know about the historical significance of tattooing.

In this article, you will get to know about the history of tattoo and also know about some interesting fact regarding tattooing.

The origin of the Tattoo

Origin of tattoo

The tattoo was first made between 3370 BC and 3100 BC. Tattooing is one of the most adopted ancient arts. Even some people also believe that after the discovery of tattoo mummified skins were found.

One historical fact behind tattooing is that the tattoo was discovered by Otzi the Iceman in September 1991. The nickname of Otzi gets to know because he was having a tattoo of his name and later it helps to identify him. His body was mummified and preserved in a specific palace and become the oldest human mummy.

The body was covered with tattoos that show different art and craft. There were 61 tattoos on Otzi body and most of the tattoos were placed on the lower body. After research, it proves that tattoos are made with fireplace ash.

It was not the single person of that era who tattooed his body, there were more than 40 mummies that are still preserved with having full body tattooed.

Although it is not possible to describe this art of tattooing with a specific palace if we consider the historical picture of tattooing then we will find that trend of the tattoo was started from the cities like Philippines, Alaska, Magnolia, Green land, China and Russia.

Even today also, you can see that these countries are famous for their of the art of tattooing.

Theories behind Tattooing

There is not any uniform purpose behind having a tattoo on the body. The purpose of tattooing varies as per location and culture. So here we will look at some of these ancient civilizations and get to know behind the purpose of tattooing.


The trend of a tattoo can be estimated by observing the mummies that are preserved in some museums. Some mummies are as far back as 2100 BC while others are dating around 500 BC.

It is believed that people who have done any crime were tattooed their fully face from tattoo so that people will get to know about them and keep them self protected.

Other than that some believed that tattoos were being used as a primary source of self-expression. Men used to make a tattoo on their hand that shows his love towards his beloved.


Smoal tattooing

Samoa has the most historical relevance and even it is believed that the term tattoo comes from the Samoan word ‘tatau’ that means self-expression.

Another reason behind Samoa relevance is that in this area tattoo was firstly transformed into a profession. People who love each other use to make a tattoo on the body of each other and the tattoo skill get a transfer from father to son.

The tool that was used for making tattoo was handmade. The material used was a turtle shell and boar teeth. It takes many weeks to complete the tattoo process.

Here tattoo was used to symbolize his or her dedication toward the culture. If a person is having a tattoo on his body it symbolizes that the person is loyal towards his community.  The people who were not able to bear the pain of the tattoo were feeling guilty and ashamed.

Greece and Rome

Greece tattoo girl

In Greece, the tattoos were being used to indicate a person that he or she is a prisoner or we can say that it was used as a sign of alert in that era. Later on, the perception changed and tattoos were being used to increase the beauty and look attractive.

In the 8th century, tattoos were used on the body of their arm force and shoulder and the process continues in the 9th century as well. The main reason behind drawing a tattoo on the body of a shoulder is to appreciate their efforts towards there country.

Great Britain

Tattooing was very famous in Great Britain in that era. William Dampier was the first person who had tattooed his full body and become famous by a little “Painted Prince”.

The ritual of tattooing was very famous in Britain. One great historic book claimed that tattooing was mandatory in that era. Both men and woman make a tattoo on their body.

The process of tattooing was very painful as it takes a whole day in the process of tattooing. Whole-body covered with blood during the process of tattooing.

Some people even can’t bear the pain of tattooing and especially it was very hard when it comes to buttocks tattoo but still, people follow the ritual and tolerate that unbearable pain.


India was well known for his great art. In south India the trend of the permanent tattoo was high. People of that area call it ‘pachakuthu’.  In north India, as tattooing was very famous.

Some famous tribes adopted the trend of tattooing and cover their full body in order to make their identity unique among all.

In India tattoo is indicated with many such names like Gondan, un gala. Some people have a tattoo of god in order to show their religious faith on that particular god.

Modern Tattooing and equipment

The tattoo industry adopted many changes because of the growing trend and technological advancement. People are adopting this trend at a very rapid speed. People use to tattoo their body with some annoying designs and they really look great after tattooing.

People use to have a tattoo on their body in order to look different and unique. Some people use to draw a tattoo for spreading the message in the general public.

Even you can see that modern technology is being used for making a tattoo. The technology helps to reduce the pain of tattooing. The modern equipment like tattoo machine, tattoo gun and best tattoo ink helps to make a perfect tattoo on your body.

Much different techniques are being used in order to undo your wrong decision of tattooings such as laser treatment and tattoo removal creams.

Six interesting facts regarding tattoo

  • Gregory Paul McLaren holds the world record with having 100% body covered with tattoos and Tom Leppard body is covered with 99.99% with tattoos.
  • After the second world war, some countries get ban over the tattoo, in fact, there are some countries who haven’t lift their ban yet.
  • Laser removal is the most scientific and best way to remove your tattoo.
  • If your tattoo ink contains metal then the chances are very less that it will heat up during MRI test.
  • In ancient time ink was made up of carbon and ash.
  • If you are the one who loves tattoo but doesn’t want to place it permanently on your body then there are some option like henna, ballpoint pen, and water-soluble stickers.


    The history of tattoo have great significance of culture and tradition. In some areas, tattoos are the most important part of their culture .

    In southern part, the black ink is mandatory for becoming socially acceptable. In north part, tattoos are used as a treatment for some health issues.

    Source: https://www.wikipedia.org

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