Henna Tattoos Designs Definations
Tattoos are no longer just an art form of the elite or associated with societal deviants. People of all ages and from all walks of life are finding their own special meaning in tattoos. Once associated only with gangs, tattoos are done between friends sharing common bonds and by individuals expressing their own uniqueness. Tattooing is modern in its form only in the tools and designs used. The concept and art of tattooing has existed throughout the centuries, beginning as early as Ancient Egypt around 2000 B.C.
Mummies have been uncovered with evidence of line and dot patterns having been tattooed on their bodies. They are mostly female mummies and the various patterns on the bodies match those etched on figurines from the same period. Some of these figures have been associated with the Goddess Hathor. One of the most famous tattooed mummies is that of Amunet, a priestess of the Goddess of Hathor.
The art of tattooing in Egypt developed from the Nubians. It matured and flourished during the Middle Kingdom and well beyond. Most of these early tattoos were done on women and for ritualistic practices.
Beyond Egypt, tattoo art was popular in Japan and other Asian cultures. During the Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods tattooing flourished. Archeological study has uncovered dogu (figurines) made throughout these periods with markings around the mouths believed to be tattoos. These marks have caused controversial debates, but evidence of tattoo markings on Asian people of this period support the argument that the marks are tattoos and not mere ornamental decorations.
Throughout the Yayoi period, 300 B.C. - 300 A.D., men in Japan and China decorated their faces and bodies to ward off large serpents and evil forces and spirits. The variations and size of the tattoos differed according to the societal position and rank of the individual.
Tattooing during the Kofun period of 300 - 600 A.D. took on more meaning throughout the society. Thieves bore specific tattoos and tattooing became a punishment for other crimes and associated with prisoners and gangs. Tattooing was not something done by the upper society. To this day, in Japan, ideas about tattoos have not changed much and are still thought of as being related to the mob, criminals and deviants of lower society.
In other parts of the world, tattooing was reserved to the elitist culture. People are often amazed to note that royalty such as King George V, Grand Duke Alexis of Russia and King Harold bore tattoos. At one time, tattooing was an expensive art form, out of reach to the common people. Tattoo artists were revered as highly as canvas artists.
In the 1700's in London, a heavily tattooed Polynesian male name Omai caused a great sensation. Some upper class people requested small discrete tattoos after seeing his artistic body.
In early American history, the tattoo was still for the elite. Native Americans were well known for their tattoos and many European Americans began to see tattooing differently with the elite of Europe showing tattoos.