For ages, both men and women have used pigments to paint their body. Some did it for style and beautification, whereas for some it was a requirement – either tribal or for religious reasons. In ancient times, people used natural pigments for colouring their body parts.
They used petals of flowers, coal, indigo and other natural material. But the times have changed and today, body painting has become a form of art, an art popularly known as tattoo. Tattoo is inserting pigment in the layers of one’s skin permanently. It is a painful process and the pigment remains on the skin forever.
The history of tattoos goes back to the Neolithic times. It was a Eurasian practice from that period. Studies show that some of the central as well as northern European tribes had tattoos on their body in the pre-Christian Era. Other studies show that people of Japan practiced the art of tattoo since the Palaeolithic Era. It is the traveling sailors who carried the art of body painting to the European world.
Today, tattoo has become a mode of beautification but there is more to tattoos than meets the eye. In different cultures, tattoos were symbol of status. They were also the symbol for religious and spiritual devotion. Some studies show that some societies used tattoos to mark their slaves. On the other hand, in some cultures tattoos were a symbol of protection.
In the modern world of today, aesthetics is the primary motto of tattoo. But then again, many of them have deeper meaning. Some tattoos represent the membership of a particular group and usually it is a criminal group. Sometimes tattoos also symbolise a person’s feeling towards someone or something.
One popular trend is to have one’s star sign tattooed on the body. Some tend to tattoo the names of their loved one or even their favourite quote. Some tend to go for animals and birds because they look good. But remember, all those animal tattoos have an inner meaning. For example, a tiger tattoo is a symbol of strength, fearlessness and power. On the other hand, horse, which is another popular animal tattoo symbolises free spirit, beauty and grace. And strange but true, frog tattoos are a symbol of harmony, life and fertility.
Since different tattoos have different meaning, it is better to find out the meaning before you go for one. You do not wish to give wrong ideas to people, do you? That has happened to many people who went into a tattoo studio without a good idea on the reason for a tattoo. Without understanding your reason for getting a tattoo usually causes you to choose a bad design which you will regret later and it will be expensive and painful to remove. You must consider not only the current or first tattoo you want on your body, but also future pieces and how their designs will interact with the current pieces. Else, you will find yourself trying to cover up a lot of your tattoos or embarrassedly trying to explain your foolish designs.