a brief history of tattoos
the word tattoo is said to has two major derivations- from the polynesian word ‘ta’ which means striking something and the tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means ‘to mark something’. the history of tattoo began over 5000 years ago and is as diverse as the people who wear them.
tattoos are created by inserting colored materials beneath the skins surface. the first tattoos probably were created by accident. someone had a small wound, and rubbed it with a hand that was dirty with soot and ashes from the fire. once the wound had healed, they saw that a mark stayed
permanently. despite the social sciences’ growing fascination with tattooing, and the immense popularity of tattoos themselves, the practice has not left much of a historical record.
in 1991, a five thousand year old tattooed man ‘ötzi the ice man’ made the headlines of newspapers all over the world when his frozen body was discovered on a mountain between austria and italy. this is the best preserved corpse of that period ever found. the skin bears 57 tattoos: a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous parallel lines on the ankles. the position of the tattoo marks suggests that they were probably applied for therapeutic reasons (treatment of arthritis).