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the marking of the skin with punctures into which pigment is rubbed. The word originates from the Tahitian tattau [to mark]. The term is sometimes extended to scarification, which consists of skin incisions into which irritants may be rubbed to produce a permanent raised scar. Tattooing is an ancient practice; evidence for it has been found on mummified remains in Europe and South America that are more than 5,000 and 4,500 years old, respectively. The modern method of tattooing employs an electric needle. Puncture tattooing reached its most elaborate and artistic development among the Maori of New Zealand and among the Japanese, who perfected the use of color. It was introduced into Europe by sailors.

In modern Western cultures, tattooing has been alternately regarded as a somewhat vulgar practice and as a sign of high fashion. It has been used by modern states as an instrument of control, as in the identification of criminals and political prisoners; it is also used to identify race horses. In medicine, it used primarily in cosmetic surgery, for example, to remove birthmarks by injecting a pigment of the color of the natural skin. Tattoos may be removed by a slow, difficult process.

Tattooing has been banned in some areas for health reasons; unclean needles can transmit hepatitis or HIV, the virus leading to AIDS. The Old Testament enjoins the Israelites against the practice, it was forbidden by Muhammad, and a Roman Catholic council condemned it in 787. For the significance of tattooing and scarification, see body-markingbody-marking,
painting, tattooing, or scarification (cutting or burning) of the body for ritual, esthetic, medicinal, magic, or religious purposes. Evidence from prehistoric burials, rock carvings, and paintings indicates that body-marking existed in ancient times; ethnographic
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See C. R. Sanders, Customizing the Body (1989); J. Caplan, ed., Written on the Body (2000).

What does it mean when you dream about a tattoo?

Since a tattoo is originally a sign of initiation, this dream symbol may indicate that the dreamer is entering a new stage in his or her life.


a picture or design made on someone's body by pricking small holes in the skin and filling them with indelible dye


Tattoos may represent those things in our lives that seem only “skin deep” but may be interesting and fun. They could represent our thinking, our playful ways, and our seemingly unimportant habits. As time progresses, we may realize that our passing fads have become permanent. Thus, a tattoo may be symbolic of something that we inflict on ourselves, is permanent if not deep, and generally carries with it some negativity.
References in periodicals archive ?
We agree tattoo is an art, a form of self-expression.
Early documentation of indigenous tattoos in northern Luzon shows that the human body was fully tattooed with distinct and abstract patterns, as seen in the tattoos found on mummies in Kabayan, Benguet.
There have been two recent incidents where botched eyeball tattoo left the models partially blind.
My grandfather, known also as hagop (Arabic for tattooist), was the first tattoo artist in Palestine to use an electric tattoo machine - powered by a car battery - and the first to use colour as well.
Hence, one needs to take more laser sessions if the tattoo is less than a year old.
5) Finally, the author investigated whether tattooing triggered a cutaneous flare-up of psoriasis on the body or an arthritis flare-up, and whether other tattoo complications occurred.
With introduction of more colours and modern techniques, the tattoo industry has emerged as one of the most popular section of the fashion industry.
With the exception of religious tattoos or those of satanic origin, it is expected to find in Romania a tattoo code, just as there is a code of religious tattoos which will be discussed in the next chapters.
We are excited to bring more amazing artists into the American Tattoo Society team.
Together with the competent authorities of Denmark, Germany, Italy, and Norway, ECHA will analyse the risks to human health, the availability of alternatives and the socio-economic impacts of a possible restriction of the substances used in tattoo inks and permanent make-up.
Referee Clattenburg's new commemorative tattoos Mark Clattenburg sorts out a problem during the Euro 2016 final in Paris last month Mark Clattenburg with a tattoo artist from Mick Mahon Tattoo Mick Mahon
The County Durham referee has had tattoos to commemorate his role in that game and the UEFA