Tattoos have been used for thousands of years as a symbol for all humanity. The first tattoos were given and received by taking a sharp stick and dipping it into the ashes from a fire. Other tools were also used such as reeds and wooden mallets, which were used to drive the ink into the skin. Man discovered that when this was applied to the body, it would leave a thick, black mark. Once it healed over, the mark was permanent.
This was originally used as a form of camouflage more than as a method of decoration. The oldest scientific proof of tribal tattoos was found on a man’s body that lived over 5,000 years ago. Even the Egyptian mummies have been found to have worn tattoos. Over time, this practice began evolving as a way of exhibiting loyalty to a particular group or tribe. If someone traveled, they could easily be identified in regards to which tribe they were a part of, simply by seeing their tattoo. Tattoos would be applied just about anywhere on the body, including the face.
The tribal tattoo morphed into something even more significant. Eventually, scenes were tattooed on the body depicting various battles that one may have taken part in. When loved ones passed, the symbol for their life such as an eagle or wolf would be tattooed on family members. But tribal tattoos were not just limited to Native Americans. Tattoos have been a part of human culture for many, many years, and the tradition has stretched from Africa, to New Zealand, to Europe. While each culture and group has their own distinct use and meaning for tattoos, the basic idea is the same. Tattoos are a permanent way of expressing oneself and identifying ones’ loyalties so that others may see. This process is still performed today, and the tribal symbols used in tattooing are even now a very popular choice.
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