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A Brief History of Tattooing


Getting your skin permanently decorated is a huge deal for a lot of people. It takes real commitment of time and money. But back when people were all living on farms and working with their hands, tattoos made sense – they showed that they could take a 'beating' while surviving tough times. 

In this blog, we will be diving into a brief history of tattooing, discussing where it is believed to originated from, and what current trends are!

Tattoos have been around since ancient times when sailors got them as signs of good luck before going off on dangerous voyages. There is also evidence of 'cutaneous painting' from about 6,000 years ago in Egypt.

sailor tattoo

The word 'tattoo' comes from the Polynesian word tatau, which means to write or mark something with a special tool – although it could also refer to branding someone as property using hot wood and burn marks.

Humans have been getting tattoos for thousands of years – there are mummified remains found in Ice Age Europe dating back 10,000 years that feature them! And they aren't just for decoration; some tribal cultures use tattoos as a way of identifying people within their communities. In Samoa and New Zealand, all citizens were tattooed with intricate patterns on their faces, arms and thighs after birth – it was believed this symbolised the transition from childhood to adulthood. These tattoos are permanent and cannot be removed, so it makes your Harry Styles 'One Direction' tattoo stay there forever.


samoan tattoo polynesian

During the first century AD, Roman women wore tattoos on their forearms that symbolised freedom – their slaves were banned from having them!

It wasn't until the early 1900s, when sailors and soldiers started getting tattoos as a way to identify themselves with their fellow shipmates or comrades in arms, that tattooing became popular.

Back then, it was only done by hand with a needle (you can still see this style at places such as the Brick Lane Beigel Bake shops in London). Today we have electric tattooing machines which are more hygienic and deliver tattoos faster!

Tattoos were banned for years in Britain because they were associated with prisons and gangs but these days you can get them on your face, neck or anywhere else you please.

Members of the British Royal Family are banned from having visible tattoos. Can you imagine Prince William with lots of tattoos? In America, the US Marines have strict rules about tattoos – they're not allowed to get any below their elbows and knees, or above their collarbones. 

But some military organisations are now changing this by creating special 'tattoo sleeves' for soldiers to wear on those areas of skin that aren't usually covered in ink. The goal is to help them all express themselves the same way without breaking any rules!

As technology has developed, it's become easier to get tattoos and there are more options available than ever before. In fact, thanks to new techniques such as 3D tattooing, face tattoos have never been so popular! There's everything from full-on face paint with pictures and words permanently etched into your skin to delicate patterns all over your visage. What will they think of next?!

There's also so much great aftercare products now-a-days for people to use after getting tattooed to promote healing and so that the tattoo looks amazing for years to come! 

tattoo aftercare magnum tattoo supplies


Popular face tattoos are on the rise! According to an article published in the Daily Mail, face tattoos are on the rise, with many celebrities jumping on board. Cara Delevingne has a choker tattoo that wraps around her neck and can be seen in one of her modelling shoots.

Overall, the history of tattooing is super interesting, and here at Magnum Tattoo Supplies, we're excited to see how it will grow in the future!



Looking to buy some great tattoo products? Shop at Magnum Tattoo Supplies!

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  • Caitlin Moore