History of tattoo

Traditional tattoo of a Samoan warrior. Photo / NZ Herald
Traditional tattoo of a Samoan warrior. Photo / NZ Herald

Hardly a new trend, there is evidence of humans tattooing themselves from the dawn of time.

10,000BC: Tattooing for spiritual and cultural purposes is thought to stretch back to the Paleolithic period in Japan. In modern times it is associated with Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia.

3300BC: Otzi the Iceman, a mummified Neolithic man found in the Italian Alps, has 57 tattoos.

1045BC-256BC: During the Zhou Dynasty in China tattoos were associated with criminals, gangsters and bandits.

Samoa: The traditional method of Samoan tattooing has been carried out for 2000 years.

Maori: Moko differs from Poly-nesian tattooing in that the lines of the pattern are carved into the flesh rather than pricked into the skin.

1770s: Joseph Banks and many of Captain Cook's sailors returned from the Pacific with a tattoo, beginning a long-running tradition of tattooed seamen.

1819: Danish inventor Oersted discovered the first tattoo gun. Thomas Edison later modified the design and patented it as an electric pen.

1898: An estimated one in five members of the British gentry was tattooed.

2003: James Leota-Tui, 29, dies at Middlemore Hospital from an infection after getting a traditional Samoan tattoo.

2010: The Ministry of Health releases guidelines on traditional tattooing to protect against infections, hepatitis and HIV.

COMMON TATTOO BOOBOOS
Foreign language spelling mistakes
* David Beckham has his wife Victoria's name in Sanskrit on his arm, spelled Vihctoria.
* Actress Hayden Panettiere's Italian back tattoo "Vivere Senza Rimipianti" translates "To live without regrets". Wonder if she regrets misspelling rimpianti?

Romantic gestures go bad
* Johnny Depp altered his Winona Forever tattoo to read Wino Forever.
* Angelina Jolie erased the name of her ex-husband Billy Bob and covered it with the birthplace co-ordinates of her children, but the shadow of Billy Bob's tattoo still lingers.

Copycats
* Rhianna, Lindsay Lohan and Lily Allen all have the same "shhh" tattoo on their index fingers.

- Herald on Sunday

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