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Word Count: 1,124
Tattooing is a traditional art form spread over many cultures and societies A tattoo is the marking of the skin with punctures into which pigment is rubbed The word originates from the Tahitian tattau meaning to mark Kings and commoners sailors and prisoners tribesmen and sweethearts all have shared one thing the art of the tattoo Evidence from ancient Egypt Greenland Siberia and New Zealand shows how truly global the tattooers art is and how old In fact tattooing had existed for thousands of years before Englands Captain Cook encountered it in the South Pacific in 1769 Merchant and naval seamen soon spread the art to Europe and America But while its meaning has varied from people to people and from place to place tattooing has most often served as a sign of social status as a mark of ones passage through life or simply as a way to beautify the body Underwood Once regarded in the West as frightening and repulsive the tattoo has enjoyed great popular ity in our own culture in recent years Everywhere we look today such as the movies advertisements and television are signs that people of all walks of life appreciate and practice the art of the tattoo Tattooing is the oldest form of self-expressive art whose process has survived intact yet its purpose has differed to a great degree yet is still very popular today The worlds oldest known tattoo can be dated back further than one could imagine and the enthusiast is the Iceman the 40-something Stone Age hunter whose well-preserved corpse was found sticking out of a glacier in the Italian Alps in 1991 His lower spine was covered by a series of blue parallel lines his right ankle was emblazoned with stripes and the tattoo of a cross lay behind his right knee Sheremata And then there were the Egyptians who were masterful tattooists Usually only the upper class priests and priestesses had tattoos The
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