A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment.
The first written reference to the word, “tattoo” (or Samoan “Tatau”) appears in the journal of Joseph Banks (24 February 1743 – 19 June 1820)
the naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour: “I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition”.
The word “tattoo” was brought to Europe by the explorer James Cook, when he returned in 1771 from his first voyage to Tahiti
New Zealand. In his narrative of the voyage, he refers to an operation called “tattaw”. Before this it had been described as scarring, painting, or staining.
Tattooing has been practiced for centuries in many cultures, particularly in Asia, and spread throughout the world. The Ainu
an indigenous people of Japan, traditionally had facial tattoos. Today, one can find Atayal, Seediq, Truku, and Saisiyat of Taiwan
Berbers of Tamazgha (North Africa), Yoruba, Fulani and Hausa people of Nigeria, and Māori of New Zealand with facial tattoos.
Tattooing spread among Polynesians and among certain tribal groups in Africa
Borneo, Cambodia, Europe, Japan, the Mentawai Islands, MesoAmerica
New Zealand, North America and South America, the Philippines, and Taiwan
Indeed, the island of Great Britain takes its name from tattooing
Britons translates as “people of the designs”, and Picts, the peoples who originally inhabited the northern part of Britain
literally means “the painted people”. Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing
the practice continues to be popular in many parts of the world