Tattoo Culture


The social significance of tattoos

The drawing on the human body has always served not only as a decoration, but also as a sign of social distinction: belonging to a tribe, clan. Tattoos endowed with special power, they were considered magical messages. In Polynesia, drawings were applied to children from the age of 11, so that when a child enters adulthood, he is safe – under the protection of higher powers. The bodies of the Indians were covered in tattoos, like clothes. Considering the drawings, it was possible to obtain information about the origin of man, his achievements and wealth. The last images were applied after death to create conditions for moving into the afterlife.

Sunset and the revival of tattoo art

The emergence and spread of Christianity is associated with sunset tattoos as attributes of pagan rites. Various body ornaments were suppressed, according to the prohibition imposed by the Old Testament. The severity of church laws led to oblivion of the tattoo for many centuries.

The art of tattooing returned only in the 18-19th centuries, but has already lost its sacred meaning. The modern history of tattoos began when retired sailors opened their first tattoo parlors in port cities. Among English sailors, it was customary to apply the image of a crucifix on the body in the hope that it would protect during sailing. Corporal punishment was widely used in the Navy, and the tattoo served as a defense against beatings.

A new surge in popularity is associated with the development of youth culture of the 50-60s. In search of new means of expression, young people began to decorate their bodies with drawings. Since then, the popularity of tattoos is constantly growing. Since the 50s of the 20th century, tattoo conventions have been held regularly.