Tribal Tattoos – Where Do They Originate From?

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Tribal tattoos are extremely popular today for both men and women, but where did they come from? These tattoos have been found on early cave paintings, and even on some mummified bodies found trapped in some glaciers. The “bronze man” was said to have died over 5,000 years ago and was found covered from head to toe in tribal tattoos. These tattoos go back so far in history that it is hard to pin point the exact origin. Egyptians and Indians can date these tattoos back centuries so we know they have been around for a very long time.

New age tribal tattoos became popular again by the widespread surge of Western culture. Once people became more interested in the tribal meanings and symbols the popularity only increased. These tattoos were actually outlawed in most locations around the world for centuries so their resurrection was a surprise. The younger generations of local tribes began experimenting with older and newer tribal tattoos until eventually they became more accepted again.

Most tribal designed tattoos were associated with people living on islands. Pacific, Samoan, Polynesian, and Melanesians are all some of the ethnicities that prides themselves on being known for their tribal tattoos. Most of this style of tattoos used to be applied in the tau tau form, or tapping. This is where the tattoo is applied with a tapping motion that allows the needle to strike your skin into a design. This option is way more painful than that of the tattoo gun used today. Luckily the process is not only much quicker than it was in ancient times; it is less painful as well.

Tattoos in general have been a great way for people to express themselves and their beliefs for years. It is funny when you go back in time and look at how far the tattoo and the tattoo process have come. Tattoos were sported by royalty and people of important for centuries and then all of a sudden they were outlawed and looked at like a disease. Now in the 21st century the tattoo is becoming more widely accepted than it was just fifty years ago. Hopefully after a few more years more people can appreciate the beauty of these creations and applaud them rather than be offended by them. Although their future is uncertain, it is sure that the tattoo is a trend that is with us forever.


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