Tattoos have had various uses over the years; as protective or therapeutic symbols, as an identification mark denoting religious, political, or social groups, as a fashion statement, and as a medium of self-expression.
Tattoos are created by injecting the pigments strategically under the skin’s epidermis. The first injection will disperse the pigment through the top damaged layer of skin and right through the epidermis and the upper dermis triggering the formation of ‘phagocytes’, which constitute the body’s immunity mechanism.
The tools used for tattooing date back to the Upper Paleolithic Age; between 10000 and 38000 BC. Red ochre and clay disks were used with pointed needles carved out of bone and inserted into holes on the disk.
The disk acted as a receptacle for the pigment while the needles were used to pierce the skin.More ancient tattoo tools were uncovered at an archaeological site in North Egypt in a place called Gurob. These small bronze implements are dated back to 1450 BC.
Tattoo artists have utilized electric tattoo machines from the late 1800s. The electric tattoo machine was patented in 1891 by Samuel O’Reilly. This electric tattoo machine, interestingly, was a variant of an invention of Thomas Edison that was used for creating embroidery designs.
Tattoo machines have not changed much since then, and the concept remains the same and is being used in modern tattoo machines.
Since the latter part of the nineteenth century, artists have been using electric tattoo machines to inject the pigment. The first electric tattoo machine was patented by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891. This tattoo machine was a variant of Thomas Edison’s invention for creating embroidery patterns. Since then, tattoo machines have not undergone any major change, and the same concept is still used in modern tattoo machines.
The top layer of the skin falls away even as the wound heals. However, the pigment tends to spread deeper and deeper into the skin. This results in the tattoo losing its original color and design as the years go by.
In ancient times, the only pigments that were used were black pigments from soot. Now there is a wide variety of colors and tattoo artists mix their colours to give a unique look.
The earliest known tattoo implements were dated back to the Upper Palaeolithic age; between 10000 BC and 38000 BC. These implements were disks made of red ochre and clay that had sharp needles made of bone inserted into holes made on top of the disks. The disk would act as a place to hold the pigment and the needles to prick the skin.
Some more tattoo implements were uncovered at an archaeological site in a place called Gurob in North Egypt. These small implements made of bronze are said to belong to BC 1450.
In New Zealand, the Maoris used a wood carving technique of tapping a compact bone-cutting tool into the skin to make shallow grooves in different designs. These tools were replaced with metal tools that were brought by the Europeans in the 18th century. This method of tattooing was called ‘puncture tattooing.’
In Polynesia and Micronesia, the pigment was pricked into the dermis by slowly tapping on a tool that resembled a rake. Similar pricking methods were used in both North and South America. The Inuit tribe of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, and in Eastern Siberia, they used what could only be termed as a sewing method; a needle strung with a thread that has been dipped in pigment was used to puncture the skin and to draw the colored thread through underneath the skin. If you are looking for a tattoo inspiration or ideas be sure to visit this website.