Over the course of history, tattoos served as a symbol of freedom, belonging, a record of some suffering or life-changing experience or something else. One thing is certain – a tattoo symbolizes a certain event on our life path and bears a meaning familiar only to ourselves with no obligation of having to justify it to others, if we don’t want to, of course.
However, in contrast to some people’s opinion, tattoos are not an “invention” of the contemporary age, and here are some facts from the tattoo history timeline.
In 330 BC, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great banned the practice of tattooing faces of gladiators because he thought tattoos defile “the image of divine beauty”, i.e. face.
During the 15th century, women in India wore tattoos on their face to differentiate between tribes and castes and to indicate if a woman is married or single.
Towards the end of 1800’s numerous European notables travelled to Japan to get tattooed. One of them was British king George V who had a dragon tattooed on his arm while his father, Edward VII had several tattoos done on that trip and he already had a tattoo of a Jerusalem cross which he made during his visit to Jerusalem.
In 1846 in New York Martin Hildebrandt opened a first tattoo saloon. He tattooed soldiers who fought in American Civil War.
In 1872 the Japanese Government banned injecting ink into the skin, today’s common tattoo method, just because they wanted to be more appealing to the Western world, their culture, and lifestyle.
In 1991 alpinists in the Ötzal Alps on Austria -Italy border discovered a naturally created mummy, later known as Ötzi the Iceman, around 5000 years old. Since the mummy was in excellent condition, it was easy to detect the markings all over the body, i.e. tattoos, more than 50 of them!
Evidently, tattooing was popular before but its popularity didn’t drop. In fact, it became an art which is performed in specialized tattoo studios. But, since the procedure is not cheap and it is a lifetime thing, think well about the place where you’ll stash it and see if it is really worth a message you would like to send with it.
Translation: G. Dujmović