History of tattooing and body piercing - Throughout history tattooing and body piercing have been practiced by many cultures for many centuries.† Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals


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History of tattooing and body piercing

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 History of tattooing and body piercing

 Throughout history tattooing and body piercing have been practiced by many cultures for many centuries.  

 The body of a 4,000 year old tattooed man was discovered in a glacier on the Austrian border in 1992.  

 Egyptians in the period from 4000-2000 B.C. identified tattooing with fertility and nobility.  Egyptian Pharaohs pierced their navels as a rite of passage.

 Since the 5th century B.C. the Japanese have used tattooing for ornamental, cosmetic, and religious purposes as well as for identification and punishment of criminals.

 During the 17th and 18th centuries, European sailors traveling through the Polynesian islands saw extensive tattooing on both men and women.

 Body piercing was often identified with royalty and portrayed courage and virility.

 In the late nineteenth century, tattooed royalty in England and European countries were fashionable.  Both sexes of Victorian royalty chose nipple and genital piercing.  Lady Randolph Churchill (Winstonís mother) had a snake tattooed around her wrist. 

 Roman soldiers pierced their nipples to show their manhood.  Mayans pierced their tongues as a spiritual ritual. 

In recent times tattoos have been most common among motorcyclists, criminals, gang members, individuals with psychiatric problems, and military personnel.  Members of these groups often obtained tattoos to show loyalty to their group.

Today the number of musicians and sports stars who are tattooed or body pierced has skyrocketed.  Cher and Dennis Rodman are two of the most outspoken stars wearing tattoos.  Many of these figures serve as role models for teenagers.


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