Tattoos and Piercings from history till today. Have you ever noticed that girl or guy sitting beside you all covered in tattoos and piercings? Did you think to yourself what a freak, or are you yourself one of these people who enjoy getting tattoos and piercings? You may not be aware of this but tattoos and piercings have been around for millions of years. In fact the earliest known examples of tattoos were in ancient Egypt and were found present on several female mummies dated to c. 2000 B. C.
There are many reasons why people throughout history and today get tattoos and piercings. Some of these reasons are based on the person’s religion. In history as Christianity emerged it brought with it the secrecy of an underground religion in a Roman state of intolerance. Christians began tattooing crosses on the underside of their forearms as a secret sign to other Christians. This was a bold statement of their faith. There are several reasons why people get religious tattoos in today’s society as well. One reason could be that they’ve survived something difficult.
Oftentimes, a person’s faith is the only thing that seems to get them through a tough time and they want to honor their survival with a tattoo. Another example is that the tattoo has a dual meaning. For example, cross tattoos may represent a person’s religious beliefs as well as their ethnic background. Finally some get tattoos and piercings because they want to show their faith to others. For some people, spirituality is a significant part of who they are. They want this to be demonstrated to everyone who meets them. There are many other beliefs held by various cultures about the significance of tattoos.
In Asian, the women believe that if they receive a tattoo during pregnancy, then the tattoo has the ability to protect the mother and child as well as influence the gender of the child. For the African tribe of Sokapanas, their belief is if the recipient shows any signs of fear or pain while receiving the tattoo, then the spirits will appear and they may possibly go as far as to kill that person. The Arabs believe that the inks have magical properties. And the Bedouin of Sinai believe that their women are unattractive without the markings as do some American Indian tribes.
The women of Fiji who do not bear a tattoo at the time of their death are believe to be mutilated by the spirits who would then feed them to the gods. Finally, Asian prostitutes have their vaginal region tattooed for they believe that the tattoo will help ward off any venereal diseases. There are also other reasons why some tribes tattoo their members. Some clans exist which tattoo their members simply to show affiliation in the current live as well as the after life. Hawaiian women also used to have their tongues tattooed to show that they were mourning a chief.
Most tribes however, use tattoos to show status, sex, or any other characteristic of themselves that will not change. Greeks, would apply tattoos to their spies to show their ranking, whereas the Romans would tattoo their slaves. Many cultures are known for piercing as well. Many cultures where the members have dark colored skin, practice this tradition as well as scarification and branding because tattooing pigments does not show up well in their skin. Some cultures, such as the Mehinaku of Brazil, also do not wear clothing, like the Western culture does.
In these cultures, the members wear body adornments, which include piercings, which show their place in society. Getting ready takes them just as long as it does for Westerners. In early adulthood each male receives his first piercing which is made of red and yellow feathers. The ceremony of receiving this piercing is only for men because in tribes such as this, the men believe that the bleeding which occurs during the process is equivalent to the bleeding which occurs in women when they menstruate. There is other symbolism that is associated with piercing, just as with tattooing.
The people of Cameroon believe that a gold ring is someoneas nose signifies power and wealth. (Bartash, Catherine, (spring 1999) Anthropology (http://www. umm. maine. edu/resources/beharchive/beh450/CatBartash/anthro. htm)) Another reason people get tattoos and piercings is for remembrance reasons. People may choose to get tattoos and piercings to remember someone that has passed away. People also choose to get tattoos and piercings to remember a special time that they had such as graduation, marriage, divorce, and births.
People also choose to get tattoos and piercings to remember jobs that they have had or titles that they have held. Examples are army, navy, and military tattoos. Some people get tattoos to remember the battles that they have fought or the wars that were waged. Finally people get tattoos and piercings for personal reasons. Many people decide that their body is a canvas a picture that has yet to be painted. Some tattoos and piercings are chosen simply because the recipient enjoys the item or image that is being put on or in their body.
Some tattoos and piercings are used to cover up scars or damaged tissue of the body. Professional tattooing is also currently being used to cover scars and other surface defects, as well as simulate body parts which are missing such as eyebrows. People get tattoos and piercings for many different reasons these were just a few examples of why people of today and throughout history have decided to get tattoos and piercings. So before you decide to make a rude statement about someone else’s tattoos or piercings remember there are reasons for tattoos and piercings even though you yourself may not understand them.