History of European tattooing

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Of course, everyone knows that the inhabitants of this planet did tattoos as soon as they began to distinguish each other and give each other names. That is-well, almost as long as there is humanity. This is understandable. Ritual, mystical, clan, and so on. But the word Tattoo itself appeared relatively recently in the Old world. Everyone claims that this is a term that comes from the French tatouer. But for some reason, everyone forgets that in French this word is also borrowed and came from the Polynesian languages. In Tahitian, the word Tatau - "Tatau" means literally "drawing on human skin". It's the same in Maori. And in Europe, the term appeared almost simultaneously with the French and English - it was introduced by James cook. He used it in an account of a trip around the world published in 1773-Yes, that's right and wrote "and their bodies were covered with drawings that they call Tatau".
A list of the most amusing names tattoo and scarring, which was formerly used in Europe can be continued indefinitely, but long story short he is: "signum" and "stigma" — these words are known from the literature of Ancient Rome often used to talk about the pattern on the leather and patterned scars, which loved to decorate herself legionaries. About scarring, by the way, is in the Bible: the same " stygmat "(in the Vulgate or published by Luther in 1534 it is) and literally it can be translated as"a wound that means something". The concept of Grafism-often comes across in Giacomo Casanova, and "hieroglif" (well, Yes, a hieroglyph, but only in the smusle of some drawing on the body)-in the Wedding of Figaro in Beaumarchais. The words "sign", "imprint" are mentioned more than once in our Victor Hugo, of course the case is in Les Miserables. In addition to these terms, until the end of the XVIII century, the phrase "carved drawing" and the French term piquage were widely used in Europe, the author of which was the Marquis Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, who was personally familiar with the customs of the then canadian Indians, since he, as the commander of the brave French troops in North America, used them as cannon fodder in the seven years ' war and constantly studied them. Because he was very educated, Yes. He even wrote how much the brain and heart of the Indians differs from the brain and body of "normal people" and that this is why it is not necessary to re-educate children from the tribes, but it is better to kill them immediately. He was a very enlightened man. But it doesn't matter — it's about something else already.
In General, on the European continent, tattooed people were most often referred to as "painted" or "dotted". The Dutch called the process of tattooing prikschildern or stechmalen, which means "drawing by pinning". The English used the words " punctures "and" punctation", the Spanish — "pintados".
The only information about the body drawings of the pagan Russ is found in the Arab traveler and writer Ibn Fadlan in the essay "Notes on a trip to the Volga", written in 920-921: "I saw the Russ when they arrived on their trading business and settled down by the river Atyl. ... And from the edge of one of their fingernails to their neck — it's all green: trees, images, and so on." But this is the only mention of tattoos among the Slavs. No one else ever wrote about them and apparently never saw them. And in modern times, the first tattoos appear in Russian sailors only at the beginning of the twentieth century. Actually, everything is clear here - they borrowed the tattoo from foreign sailors and immediately copied it. Well, as a mass phenomenon of tattooing in Russia, tattooing appeared only with the birth of organized criminal structures.
But this is all Europe. The birthplace of the tattoo that we now know, of course, is Oceania — and this is a completely different song. Maybe even much more interesting.
First, New Zealand. Maori. The method of tattooing Maori differs from the usual one in that it is not just injecting paint — they cut the skin with a special chisel instead of piercing it with a needle. Incised and sprayed with paint. Maori tattoo motifs are spiral lines that covered the faces, buttocks, and legs of Maori men. Women did-and still do-tattoos on their lips and chins.
But these are primitive Oceania tattoos. Let me tell you more about Japan.
In Japan, before 500, tattooing was a privilege reserved exclusively for emperors.In decorative art, which decorated their body landowners and their vassals and warriors, it becomes only from 560-590 years. And then, I think, the numbers are very inaccurate. But there are a couple of Japanese historians who are very confident about these years. Well-on their conscience. There is no written evidence of this.
But then — unexpectedly-tattoos become the lot of clans. And gangs. In Ancient Japan, a person with a tattoo was persona non grata: he was expelled from his family and society, condemning him to complete isolation. That is, complete isolation from ordinary society. The Yakuza — who have used tattoos in their clans for more than a thousand years-replaced families with such outcasts.
Actually, when joining the Yakuza, farmers and artisans have been receiving new, belligerent-sounding names since 740 (and here there is evidence and the year is quite accurate), such a peculiar ritual, almost monastic vows. The tattoo is applied without piercing, and almost rubbing the paint with dried bamboo is very painful, as my friends say. Colors — everyone has their own recipes, but always very bright and rich. The theme is incredibly extensive, but it can be divided into four groups: flora, fauna, religious and mythological motifs associated with the extraordinary adventures of the characters. There is a set of characters that work in any combination.
Chrysanthemum, once an attribute of the Mikado, later-a symbol of perseverance and determination.
Peony is a symbol of wealth and success in life.
The cherry blossom-whose petals fall off even with a light breeze just as meekly as a samurai gives his life for his master — is a symbol of time and the fragility of being.
Maple leaf-carries the same meaning as the red rose in Europe.
Dragon-symbolizes power and strength, and at the same time uniting fire and water.
Carp-symbolizes courage, bravery, stoicism.
The tiger is a symbol of fearlessness.
There are clans and schools of Japanese tattoo artists. It is clear that these are all family clans that pass on knowledge and skills from father to son and on. Well, three of the most famous ones can be distinguished: Horitoshi, Horitama and Irezumi (but the latter are those who are in Okinawa, there is another clan — so they are" thieves of the name", although they draw just as cool and they are also a thousand years old, but still-thieves and all that)
Well, here are a few words about what I know about the history of tattoos, about what types and schools there are in European tattooing, I will not say — there are several dozen names and you can talk about each for hours-I'm afraid you will fall asleep.
I actually wanted to tell you about the first London tattoo artist:-)
Actually, his name was Sutherland Macdonald (I have a bad transcription of names — so let it be so). He was introduced to the art of tattooing when he served on the Islands and conquered the "wild peoples". Returning to his native London, in 1889, he opened the world's first tattoo parlor. The new profession, despite our ideas about Victorian England, is rapidly becoming popular. The world-famous Big postal directory even introduces a new profession designation: tattooist in the 1894 catalog of professions.
First, MacDonald works with his hands. But ten years later, he invents and patents an electric tattoo machine.
Among his clients, by the way, there were a lot of famous personalities of that time. Well, from high society-literally everything. Especially after Queen Victoria's son got eight tattoos for himself, the children of the king of Norway and the king of Denmark came and — to keep up-also made drawings for themselves. Boys - all over the chest, girls-all over the back.
Well, here are the pictures from his workshop.
In principle, everything I've told you here before is all for the sake of showing them:-)

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