BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY
In 1991, two German hikers came across a man whose body had been preserved in a glacier for 5000 years. Otzi the iceman is how historians refer to him. His body was examined and it was discovered that he had over 57 tattoos. Otzi is the oldest adult with tattoos that have been found. Tattoos with circles, lines, and other marks have also been discovered on mummies from the ancient worlds of Egypt and Nubia.
Although the significance and intent of such tattoos remain unknown, it is clear that we share certain commonalities with our ancient forefathers. In ancient times, tattooing was often considered taboo. The prohibition on tattooing can be traced all the way back to the beginnings of Judaism and Christianity. Because of his Christian values, Constantine, the first Christian emperor based in Rome, outlawed the practice of facial tattooing in 316.
The full-body tattoos of the notorious Japanese gangsters, the Yakuza, are well-known today. Tattoos have a long tradition in Japan, as they do in many other cultures. However, from the 700s to the 1700s, it was controversial in Japan when authorities wanted to use the craft as a means of punishing criminals. Russian gangsters, like the Yakuza, are coated with tattoos.
In the history of Tattoos, one of the oldest records of tattoos in Russia dates from the 900s when an official from the Arabian Peninsula was traveling through the area and came across a group of European men who had dark lines and other figures tattooed on their bodies from “fingernails to ears.” Tattooing did not become common in the west until Captain James Cook explored the Polynesian islands.
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The Polynesian people have a long tradition of intricate facial tattoos that are also linked to their tribal status and culture. A man named Martin Hildebrandt opened the first tattoo parlor in the United States over 100 years later in New York. Hildebrandt mostly served troops who had fought in the Civil War, although he made little distinction between the sides. Tattoos were outlawed in New York City in 1961, with the declaration that it was “unlawful for any citizen to tattoo a human being.” Before 1997, it was illegal to tattoo anybody there. Since then, tattoos have become a part of popular American culture, and what was once seen as a symbol pertaining to rebellion has evolved into a mode of accepted speech.