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Art of Tattoos

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Tattooing has long been practiced since the old times around the world for decorative, ornamental, spiritual, identification, cosmetics, and even medical purposes and uses. In spite of some issues and taboos regarding this practice, tattooing continues to gain popularity all over the world; so does the concern regarding the potential risks involved with tattooing.

In archaeological excavations, ancient tattooing tools have been found from the town of Gurob in northern Egypt. These tools were used around 1450 BC. The tools were made from bronze. Initially, the archaeologists assumed that the just females of dubious character were tattooed in ancient Egypt. However, the female mummies with tattoos were found at Deir el-Bahari, the site where royals and other important people were buried. And, of the female mummies was identified as Amunet based on the inscriptions and she was a high priestess in ancient Egypt.

Tattoos used to be associated with sailors, pirates, and the type of people that your parents didn’t want you to associate with. In today’s society, they are seen on every type of person imaginable. Sure, there are plenty of designs that are more or less commonplace, but those aren’t the type of tattoos can be considered art. There are hundreds of tattoo artists that spend hours designing and re-designing each aspect of a tattoo so that it is completely unique, and truly a masterpiece.

Tattoos in America:

Not all societies adopt tattoos as means of personal and communal expressions. In many cultures -especially illiterate societies-tattoos carry the visual symbols, icons, and signals of collective consciousness and memories they wish to preserve.

In America, given their popularity today, we can see that tattoos are a continuation of the earlier generations’ symbols of rebellion, of being different, of presenting a contrarian attitude, of the nonconformist. In place of long hair we now have long nails, body piercing, and tattoos.

Is it a fad? Given that the fad is lasting longer than a decade, we can say perhaps it is more than a fad; may be a much longer wave. Young people imitate stars, celebrities, and other famous achievers. In soccer we see a veteran player like David Beckham sport very visible tattoos on his neck; following Beckham’s example, the young striker Natasha Kai isn’t shy about displaying her countless tattoos. In boxing, tattoos are almost mandatory -perhaps as weapons of intimidation-since most boxers wear them. The fiercer the tattoo the fiercer the appearance of the boxer: just take a close look at Mike Tyson’s face.


Like in any other human endeavors, taste, likes, and dislikes, tattoos have caught the imagination of the younger generations and are here to stay. While some are critical of the practice, most people are tolerant. And instead of looking for the negative, we should look for the positive gains that they (tattoos) can yield to the wearer, and also for the beauty that some of them contain.

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1 Response for “Art of Tattoos”

  1. […] is a debate as to what Koi Fish Tattoos symbolize in tattoo art, as many feel there is a sexual meaning of the fish (it is vividly colorful), that the direction in […]

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