A tattoo is a permanent marking made by inserting ink into the layers of skin to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons. Tattoos on humans are a type of decorative body modification, while tattoos on animals are most commonly used for identification or branding.

Tattooing has been practiced worldwide. The Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, traditionally wore facial tattoos. Today one can find Berbers of Tamazgha and Maori of New Zealand with facial tattoos. Tattooing was widespread among Polynesian peoples and among certain tribal groups in the Philippines, Borneo, Mentawai Islands, Africa, North America, South America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Japan, Cambodia, New Zealand and China. Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing, the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world.


LGBT relevanceEdit

A poll conducted online in July 2003 estimated that 16% of all adults in the United States have at least one tattoo. The highest incidence of tattoos was found among the gay, lesbian and bisexual population (31%) and among Americans ages 25 to 29 years (36%) and 30 to 39 years (28%). Regionally, people living in the West (20%) were more likely to have tattoos. Democrats were more likely to have tattoos (18%) than Republicans (14%) and Independents (12%); approximately equal percentages of males (16%) and females (15%) have tattoos.[1] In the fall of 2006, a study was completed by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. It found that 24% of Americans who were between the ages of 18 and 50 had a tattoo, which is almost one in four people in the United states. Also, in a 1990s article put out by U.S. News & World Report, tattooing was ranked as the sixth fastest growing retail venture of the 1990s, establishing the tattoo industry as a hot property. However, as of 2008 there is some evidence that the fashion for tattooing in the Western world may have peaked.[2]

References Edit

  1. A Third of Americans With Tattoos Say They Make Them Feel More Sexy
  2. Tattoo Facts & Statistics. Retrieved May 8, 2008


  • Buckland, A. W.: „On Tattooing“, in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1887/12, p. 318-328.
  • Caplan, Jane ed.: Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European and American History, Princeton 2000.
  • DeMello, Margo: Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community, California – Duke University Press 2000.
  • Gell, Alfred: Wrapping in Images: Tattooing in Polynesia, Oxford – Clarendon Press 1993.
  • Gilbert, Stephen G.: Tattoo History. A Source Book, New York – Juno Books 2001.
  • Gustafson, Mark: „Inscripta in fronte - Penal Tattooing in Late Antiquity“, in Classical Antiquity, April 1997, Vol. 16/No. 1, p. 79-105.
  • Hambly, Wilfrid Dyson: The History of Tattooing and Its Significance: With Some Account of Other Forms of Corporal Marking, London - H. F.& G. Witherby 1925 (Detroit 1974).
  • Jelski, Andrzej: Tatuaż, Warszawa – Wydawnictwo Alfa 1993 (Polish).
  • Joest, Wilhelm: Tätowiren, Narbenzeichnen und Körperbemalen: Ein Beitrage zur vergleichenden Ethnologie, Leipzig/Berlin 1887 (German).
  • Jones, C. P.: „Stigma: Tattooing and Branding in Graeco-Roman Antiquity“, in Journal of Roman Studies, 77/1987, s. 139-155.
  • Keimer, Ludwig: Remarques sur le Tatouage dans l´Egypte ancienne, Le Caire – Imprimerie de L´Institut Francais D´Archéologie orientale 1948 (French).
  • Lombroso, Cesare: „The Savage Origin of Tattooing“, in Popular Science Monthly, Vol. IV., 1896.
  • Rubin, Arnold ed.: Marks of Civilization. Artistic Transformations of the Human Body, Los Angeles – UCLA Museum of Cultural History 1988.
  • Rychlík, Martin: Tetování, skarifikace a jiné zdobení těla, Prague - NLN 2005 (Czech).
  • Sanders, Clinton R.: Customizing the Body. The Art and Culture of Tattooing, Philadelphia – Temple University Press 1989.
  • Sinclair, A.T.: „Tattooing of the North American Indians“, in American Anthropologist 1909/11, No. 3, p. 362-400.

Popular and artisticEdit

  • IMDB. Eastern Promises (2007). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on May 8, 2008.[1]
  • Vanishing Tattoo. Tattoo Facts & Statistics. The Vanishing Tattoo. May 8, 2008.[2]
  • Celtic Tattoos, Doug Davidson.[3]
  • Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo Terisa Green, ISBN 0-451-21514-1
  • The Tattoo Encyclopedia: A Guide to Choosing Your Tattoo Terisa Green, ISBN 0-7432-2329-2
  • Total Tattoo Book Amy Krakow, ISBN 0-446-67001-4
  • Stoney Knows How[4]: a 1981 film about tattoo artist Stoney St. Clair on
  • SEKPRESS: Online School Of Body Art [5] Oldest educational resource for body art on the Internet. Maintained and administered by body art veteran and master artist The GYPSY of Skin Art Creations Tattoo Emporium of Independence, Kansas
  • UnInked! The Complete Guide to Tattoo Removal Erika Finn, ISBN 0-9799629-0-0, ISBN-13 978-0-9799629-0-5
  • Watch this video tutorial on how you can superimpose a tattoo onto your body! Before you take the plunge!.
  • inked magazine,, NY, NY


Other referencesEdit


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