In today’s modern world, tattoos are popular everywhere as we all are fond of this beautiful body art. Everybody wants to make his body more attractive with meaningful tattoos. If we look at the history of tattoos, we’ll know tattooing art has been present in every culture for thousands of years. However, ancient people make tattoos on their bodies only for different purposes.
In our tattooing experience, we found that people get tattoos after finding the meaning of their tattoos. Meanwhile, very few people know the history of tattoos. Therefore, we shared the origin and history of tattoos with a complete timeline in this article to increase their knowledge about tattoos. Moreover, our team answered the most frequent questions on the psychology and popularity of tattoos.
Let’s start with some interesting facts:
Statistics Report On The Popularity of Tattoos
- In 2002, the “tattoo” word was the highest search term on the internet.
- After that, 21% of American people have tattoos, according to a survey in 2012.
- Now, there are more than 25,000 tattoo parlors in the USA.
- Also, 30% of graduated students and 36% of military veterans have tattoos.
- 36% of tattooed people in the USA are 18 to 29 years old, and 11% of tattooed people in the USA are 50 to 64 years old.
- In short, 26% of people USA have tattoos in 2024, of which 60% are women.
Psychology Of Tattoos (Reason Behind Getting Tattoos)
There is not one single reason or thought behind getting tattoos.
- People get tattoos to look unique and more beautiful.
- Most people get tattoos to have a meaningful effect on their personalities.
- Some people get tattoos in memory of a person or an incident. So, that tattoo keeps reminding them of memory.
- Also, religious and cultural people get tattoos to show their faith.
- Last but not least, youngsters get tattoos to feel freedom and motivation to achieve their goals.
Where Did Tattoos Originate? – History & Timeline
1. First Tattoo
There is no authentic information about who made the very first tattoo in history. But archeologists have found much evidence that clarifies the existence of tattoos in ancient times. Researchers have found tattoo marks on Egyptian mummies of 2000 B.C.
Not only that, when a 5200 years old frozen mummy was found in 1991 at the Italian-Austrian border, there was also a pattern of tattoos on his body. That mummy is known as Otzi Iceman.
Also, women had tattoos on their body parts, as the bodies of female mummies proved that fact true. There are many similar tattoo marks on mummies, like mummies of Greco-Roman tombs at Akhmim.
Some religions started getting tattoos, as people of Scythian Pazyryk in the Altai Mountain region. That is why ornamental tattoos of mythical creatures were seen on the Scythian man’s body. That tattooed body was discovered in 1948 and is almost 2400 years old.
Tattooing art and tattoos were everywhere, no matter what time it was. For example, researchers have examined the tattoos on mummies of Chile and Peru cultures. As a result, we learned that most women used to get tattoos, especially women with high status.
A mummy of Naszca culture has a tattoo on the lower torso to the stomach and intimate area. Tattoos on thighs, arms, and fingers were common in every culture. Meanwhile, facial tattooing was also present in history.
2. Ancient Tattooists And Tattooing Method
In north Egypt, in the place of Gurob, some types of equipment made of bronze were found. Later, it was proved that those types of equipment were the tattooing tools of that time. Ancient tattooists used to do tattooing with a bundle of metal needles and wooden handles.
The needles pierce the skin in a unique pattern when used at once. Most tattoo designs were just simple lines and dots at that time. Later, people started to make tattoos of mythical creatures and powerful animals. In addition, ancient tattoo artists made tattoo ink with a mixture of pigment, black wooden ash, oil, and milk.
3. Use Of Tattoos In Old Times
In ancient Egypt, tattoos were used to mark prostitute girls and dancing girls. Also, some people used tattooing to make permanent amulets on their bodies to protect them from harmful diseases and evil eyes. The specific place of tattoos on mummies determines the role of tattoos in old times.
Most people used tattoos to symbolize their connection to a specific tribe. In some traditions, couples used to get the same tattoos to declare their eternal bond of love. Moreover, some religious people used tattoos as a sign of solid belief. For example, thigh tattoos were used as an amulet for safe baby delivery.
In old times, tattooing techniques were not so advanced. Ancient tattoo artists used to make tattoos in a complicated and painful process. Tattoos were given as punishment in some communities, as getting a tattoo was so such a painful thing. On the other hand, some people used tattoos on their bodies as a sign of immense strength.
Fortunately, people get their favorite tattoos without pain by using the best numbing creams for tattoos. These naturally made tattoo creams are not a miracle but a gift from modern science. You can enjoy the tattooing session without hesitating anymore.
Few cultures and tribes started to get powerful monster tattoos to show their superiority. Interestingly, One tribe of Romans was famous by Picti, which means the painted people.
When Did Tattoos Become Popular, And Why Are Tattoos So Popular?
You need to understand that tattoos are not only popular now. But also, tattoos and tattooing art have been popular throughout history. With the evolution of the internet, people are more connected around the globe.
Maybe this is why you feel that every person is getting tattoos nowadays. Moreover, this one reason is not enough to answer this question, as the popularity of tattoos is increasing because of the history and beauty facts of tattoos.
Japanese tattoos have a separate fan base; every tattoo is pure art. Only highly skilled modern tattooists can make beautiful tattoos like ancient Samoa tattooists. African tattooists are also very talented, as most tribal tattooists use only ancient techniques and equipment. You may have seen the famous dot tattoos on African people’s faces.
Further, people of Maori culture use tattoos on the face as an identity and to show ancestry or high position. This fact sounds like having a barcode on the front. Surprisingly, tattoos in Maori culture work that way. Their tribal tattoo artists use a sharp bone chisel to puncture the skin. They use carbon based pigment and pour it over the skin to fill the tattoo design.
Women of Maori culture get tattoos on their faces for ages. Besides the beauty and unique identity, the tattoos on their face help women to keep their skin tight naturally. So, those women never get wrinkles on their skin.
Greeks and Roman people used tattoos as a fashion and for marking criminals. The pharaoh got tattoos during the Macedonian Greek monarch’s rule in Egypt. Ptolemy IV got tattoos of ivy leaves to show faith in the God of wine, Dionysus. The tattoo became so popular in a fashion that even every Roman soldier had tattoos at that time.
However, Emperor Constantine (A.D. 306-373) banned tattoos at the dawn of Christianity. Because he felt that decorating the human body with tattoos was an insult to God’s creativity. But that ban on tattoos did not remain for a long time.
What Do Tattoos Say About A Person?
A tattoo design and tattoo placement can say a lot about a person. Every tattoo has different tattoo meanings. For example,
- Kintaro tattoo meaning is strength, luck, and bravery.
- Fox tattoo meaning is cleverness, eroticism, and monitoring skills.
- Ant tattoo meaning is willpower, dedication, and knowledge.
- Olive Branch tattoo meaning is calm, hope, and success.
- Dinosaur tattoo meaning is enormous strength, fatality, and truth of the ending.
- A Chili Pepper tattoo meaning a daring personality, love for food, sexuality, and health safety.
- Panther tattoo meaning is bravery, custodian, beauty, and passion.
- A peony tattoo meaning is an inner potential to achieve a goal.
- Butterfly tattoo meaning grace, evolution, and great success.
- Snake tattoo meaning is danger, temptation, wealth, and endurance.
- Dragon tattoo meaning is intelligence, power, lust, and great luck.
- Tiger tattoo meaning is dignity, brutality, craving, and freedom.
- Wolf tattoo meaning is courage, boldness, brutality, fame, intelligence, loyalty, and love for family.
Our tattooist team tried to answer your every question on tattoo history, popularity, psychology, and statistics. Also, we gave you multiple tattoo meanings of different tattoo designs as a bonus. Hopefully, our work is appreciatable.
Moreover, you can ask us further questions on tattoos-related topics. If you find this article helpful and interesting, share this valuable information with every friend and family member.