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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 ?
Learmount, 30, of Kimberley Drive, Middlesbrough, was charged with failing to register himself as a tattooist with Middlesbrough Council; failing to register his premises; and failing to comply with hygiene standards.
A reputable and registered tattooist will never tattoo a teenager who is under 18 years.
u 2 DON'T RELY ON WORD OF MOUTH TO FIND A TATTOOIST "THERE'S nothing worse than word of mouth," says Kevin.
She managed to talk a tattooist into giving her a job just by showing them what she could do on one of his pals.
THE TRAINING There are no formal entry requirements or qualifications needed when embarking on a career as a tattooist.
Well-known tattooist, Andy 'Poach' Thompson told the Cyprus Mail that he wanted to do something to help the charity initative which has been set up in Manchester to help the families of victims.
Out of the 1000 tattooists of the French union, who had been contacted via e-mail, we received 451 questionnaires (the response rate at 45%).
Local councils are urging tougher sentences for illegal tattooists, who they warn now offer discounts for children.
There has been an increase in numbers of illegal tattooists (otherwise known as scratchers) across the country operating from their homes, mainly a result of being able to buy cheap tattooing equipment over the internet.
Senior environmental health officer Helen Williams said: "We have received many calls over the last few months and were able to contact at least one of the unregistered artists to request they register with us as a tattooist.
But Lionel Titchener, 60, founder of the Tattoo Club of Great Britain, argued that the scheme was unnecessary as local authority inspections already covered hygiene and that it was unlicensed tattooists working from home who were responsible for the problems.
(1)Find a reputable tattooist By law, all tattooists must be registered with the local authority and have an up-to-date certificate to prove it.