Friday, December 26, 2008

The Max Tattoos Studios

We hope you find our site both informative and enjoyable. Our studio is family run and offers both a relaxed, friendly and professional atmosphere.

The Maxx tattoo studio, tattoo designs, designs artists and body piercing

At the Maxx tattoo studio we offer thousands of tattoo designs to choose from and our award winning tattoo artists specialise in custom freehand work, unique one off pieces and cover ups. If you prefer to bring in more personal designs our artists are more than pleased to use your art work. Browse through our online tattoo gallery of designs to appreciate the quality and diversity of tattoo designs produced at the Maxx tattoo studio by our talented artists.

The Maxx tattoo studio, tattoo designs, designs artists and body piercing

On the body piercing side of the studio, we are able to offer both male and female piercers which has been well received, especially for that more personal body piercing. Both the ranges of piercings and jewellery for them are extensive, and custom body piercing pieces can be ordered through our shop.

The Maxx tattoo studio, tattoo designs, designs artists and body piercing

Other stock items within the shop include, smoking parafinalia, bongs, scales, papers, poppers etc etc!

We also have available wood carvings from around the world, gothic items, posters, teeshirts, caps, bags, swords, and a wonderful selection of adult toys.

For a better idea of what's available pop in and look around.

We look forward to working with you and seeing you at The Maxx tattoo and body piercing studio soon...

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The Bikers and military tattoo history

Throughout the history of tattoos, there have been a number of types that have become renewed. However, to fully understand the regenerated genre of tattooing, it is imperative to any tattoo artist to fully understand the roots of his/her career.

Biker tattoos have been often thought of prison, gangs, and the “big bad” biker mentality. Though in reality only one percent of bikers are in “biker gangs”. Many wives tales about the nomadic bikers who have represented the negative side of bikers.

Bikers have been known to get bad press, the one percent you hear about and their turf wars, conflicts with the law and criminal activity. However, most are simply biker enthusiast, and are generally the people you see riding around on the streets these days. Most biker lifestyles are about the freedom of the open road.

Everyone will look on bikers in a different manner, however the general perception is often the wrong one. Biker tattoos are usually a depiction of the biker gangs. Skulls, dice, Norse gods, and mythical creatures are often times one of the more popular for bikers. Though, many like the old school sailor tattoos, pin ups are a frequent sighting.

Much like Biker tattoos, military tattoos have long been a tradition in our history. Millions of men and women who have served in the armed forces done tattoos as a constant reminder that they belonged to a particular unit. Tattoos not only are a badge of their loyalty to their unit, but to their country. Some even get tattoos to honor close friends lost in combat.

Tattoos are most common in the navy, and the army in close second. The marines and the air force are also commemorated through tattoos, however not quite as often. The most common tattoos in the military range from Unit patches, military awards, eagles, US flag, dog tags, pilot wings, fighter planes, war veteran tattoos, anchors, pin ups, and sailor Jerry tattoos.

Although common, the military has since placed more stringent rules and regulations on tattoos. So, most men and women of the military must wait until the completion of their service to get their new ink.

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The Maori Tattoos

Maori tattoos are among the most distinctive tattoos in the world and have their own identity amongst the Polynesian tattoos. Tattooing is a sacred art among the Maori people of New Zealand, and probably came to them from the islands of East Polynesia.

Maori tattoo art is very beautiful, consisting of curved shapes and spirals in intricate patterns. Distinctive for Maori tattoo designs is the fact that they are based on the spiral and that they are curvilinear. The most prevalent place for a Maori tattoo was the face, probably a result of the cool New Zealand climate.

Traditional Maori Tattoos: Ta Moko

Maori tattoo art is different from traditional tattooing in that sense that the Maori tattoo was carved into the skin with a chisel, instead of punctured.

Maori tattoos

Ta Moko

Traditional Maori tattoos are known in the Maori language as ta moko:

  • Ta moko: literally the words ta moko translate as to strike or to tap. The term refers to the process of tattooing in the Maori traditions.
  • Moko: the tattoo design itself – the finished product.

The Maori tattoo consists of bold spiral designs covering the face, the buttocks and the legs of the Maori men.

Maori women were usually tattooed on the lips and chin and in some cases on the neck and the back.

Tattooing has a sacred significance – the Maori tattoo design itself, and the long and painful process of acquiring the tattoo (Maori tribe tattooing was done with bone chisels).

Maori Tattoos: The Legend

The precise history of the Maori tattoo is rather vague, but we do know the legendary source. According to legend, ta moko came from the underworld:

Ta Moko

Te Puni Maori Chief

When Mataora, a young warrior, fell in love with Niwareka, the princess of the underworld, she agreed to come aboveground to marry him. When he mistreated her, however, Niwareka went back to her father’s kingdom.

Eventually, sick with guilt and with his face paint smudged, Mataora made his way down to the underworld to try to win her back. He succeeded, and Niwareka’s father taught him the art of Maori tribe tattooing as well! Mataora brought ta moko – Maori tattoos - as well as other skills he had picked up in the underworld, back with him, and the ideas caught on.

Maori Tattoo Equipment

Instead of needles, the Maori people used knives and chisels (uhi), either smooth or serrated, and the ink was applied by means of incisions. The uhi was made from an albatross bone.

Two kinds of tattoo ink were used:

  • The tattoo ink for the body color was made from an organism that is half vegetable, half caterpillar (the caterpillar is infected by a certain kind of fungus that starts growing out of its head, killing the caterpillar).
  • The darker, black tattoo ink used for the face was made of burned wood.

By the end of the 19th century, other tattoo equipment like tattoo needles began to set in.

Maori Tattooing: The Ritual

Maori tattooing would usually start at adolescence, and was used to celebrate important events throughout life. The first tattoo marks the transition from childhood to adulthood and was done during a series of rites and rituals. Tattoo art was an important part of the Maori culture – in fact, people without tattoos were considered to be without status or worth.

Needless to say, tattooing by making incisions with a chisel was a painful process, but traditional Maori tattoos were meant to be more than decorative – they were a show of strength, courage and status. Both men and women were tattooed, though women substantially less (maybe because there was less of a need for them to show courage) and on other places (usually the lips and chin).

The process of Maori tattooing was a ritual, with music, chant and fasting – in fact, fasting was more or less a necessity, because the face would swell up from the wounds caused by the tattooing process!

The tattoo specialists in the Maori culture were usually men, although there are some women who also were tohunga ta moko (moko specialists).

Maori Tattoos Today

The Maori traditions such a tattooing lost much of its significance after the coming of European settlers. Ta moko for men stopped being popular somewhere in the middle of the 19th century. Moko for women continued throughout the 20th century.

Since the 1990s the Maori culture and traditions are having a revival and the traditional Maori tribe tattooing is all but extinct, Maori tattoos have made a comeback and are popular again, including the old tattoo equipment like chisels.

In the west, Maori-inspired tattoos are in vogue as well. Many of us appreciate the bold statement that Maori tattoo designs make, and this style of tribal tattooing is growing in popularity.

Modern Maori tattoos are usually found on the body rather than the face, and usually (but not always) modern tattoo equipment and ink are used – but the traditional ta moko inspired designs have a universal and timeless appeal.

Maori Tattoos and Non-Maoris

By using a moko pattern for your own tattoo design, you may be insulting the Maori people. It is never ok for a non-maori to wear a Maori tattoo pattern, even if it is done with respect.

Maori tattoo patterns and symbols are a way of personal identification for the Maori people. By copying their designs you steal a part of their identity, what the Maori see as an insult.

If you want a tattoo design in the Maori style, find a tattoo artist that has experience with Maori tattoos and knows about these issues. He can design a tattoo for you that has the looks of a moko without the Maori symbolic ties.

Celebrities With A Maori Tattoo

Here's a list of celebrities with Maori tattoos:

  • Robbie Williams: celebrity with a Maori sleeve tattoo, done by Henk Schiffmacher, a Dutch tattoo artist.
  • Ben Harper: singer and guitar player, has Maori tribals all over his body.
  • Mike Tyson: ex-boxer with a Maori inspired tattoo on his head.

Discover more about the meaning of Tribal Tattoo Designs

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Maori Tattoos Traditional

Ta moko - traditional tattoos of the Maori people

There has been a huge revival of traditional Maori tattoos, ta moko and other Maori cultural traditions. Since the cultural revival ta moko tattoo designs are becoming more and more what can be considered mainstream. A lot of non-Maori people are getting moko designs tattooed on their faces as well as other parts of their body, many of which have improper significance. Robbie Williams and Mike tyson have gotten Maori tattoos much to the annoyance of many Maoris.

Maori tattoos have been practiced for over a thousand years, and have not only withstood time and but also colonization by Europeans. Maoris are the original inhabitants of New Zealand, known to them as Aotearoa or the land of the long white cloud. Ta moko (literally meaning to strike or tap) was used as a form of identification, rank, genealogy, tribal history, eligibility to marry, and marks of beauty or ferocity.

Ta moko weren't merely tattooed upon their wearers; they were finely chiseled into the skin. The art preceded wood carvings, so accordingly the first of these wood carvings copied moko designs. Ta moko are most recognizably done on the face, although other parts of the body are also tattooed.

Women were traditionally only allowed to be tattooed on their lips, around the chin, and sometimes the nostrils. A woman with full blue lips was seen as the "epitome of Maori female beauty." Men, on the other hand, were allowed to have a full facial moko. Those of higher rank, like chiefs and warriors, were usually the only ones who could afford it, but at the same time were the only ones who held a position that made them worthy of getting a moko in the first place.

The choosing of the design was not, however, an easy process. Unlike getting a mundane tattoo now, Maori tattoos took months of approval and planning on the part of the elders and other family members. First the elders decided whether one was worthy of receiving a moko. One of the questions they need answered with an unwavering yes was: "are they committed to wearing their tribal identity on their body for the rest of their life?" Then the design process would begin by taking into account the tribal history, which was the most important component of the moko.

However, the majority of people who are using Moko inspired designs didn’t take the time to learn anything about its origins or significance. It is understandable why some Maori are offended by the use of bits and pieces of their culture. Wouldn't you be upset too if someone copied something uniquely yours without your permission, didn’t know anything about its origin, and didn’t use it in the appropriate manner?

Hopefully, the Maori people will continue their efforts to keep this beautiful and interesting cultural art alive, the rest of the world can come to respect this sacred cultural ritual, and the two can come to an agreement about its use in today’s society.

Traditional Maori tattoos by Inia of Moko Ink

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

The World's 101 Hottest Womens with Tattoos for 2008

We've been tracking tattooed celebrities at Vanishing Tattoo for more years than we care to remember, squinting at fuzzy photos of beautiful people in a selfless effort to see if that blurry spot on the backside of a B-list body is really an unknown piece of body art - and all for the edification of you, our faithful audience. We endlessly (or so it seems) scour the Internet, straining and sacrificing our eye-sight so that others may gaze upon the tattoos of the rich and famous in wonderment.

After years of compiling lists in which we divulged who among the numerous annual inventories of the "sexiest", "most desirable" and "most beautiful" women in the world had tattoos, we decided to simply put together our own list. Easier said than done. There were numerous heated discussions about body art, big tattoos versus little tattoos, hot versus not, and A-list over the straight-to-video crowd. Mostly done without the aid of alcohol. But we did it.
One final Editorial Note, there are some very "Hot" celebrities with tattoos who did not make this list. And of course the only criteria for being on the list was that you had to have a tattoo, still be alive (sorry Aaliyah and Anna Nicole) and for some reason pique the curiosity of our great audience. That being said, some hot babes like Mandy Moore, Avril Lavigne and Portia de Rossi have ink that you need a magnifying glass to spot and we drew the line at celebrity women whose flirtation with anorexia is the opposite of hotness in our humble opinion.

So here it is, The Vanishing Tattoo presents the Hottest One Hundred and One Women with Tattoos in the World for 2008.

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Sexy Tattoos for Womens

Everyone has different ideas about their favorite sexy tattoos. Is a lower back tattoo sexy? What about an armband? What makes a tattoo sexy is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

Lower Back Tattoos

There's controversy in the tattoo world over lower back tattoos. Some people think they're incredibly sexy, an ornament for an already beautiful part of the female body. Others are tired of seeing lower back tats and have taken to calling them "tramp stamps."

Are these types of lower back tattoos sexy or not? You decide.

  • A stylized tribal design or Celtic knotwork.
  • A butterfly or fairy with wings spread across the back.
  • A small image of a flower, a dolphin, or other nature symbol.
  • A word like "goddess" or "angel" in stylized script.

Armband Tattoos

Armbands are popular with men, who often think a the tattoo accentuates a pumped-up bicep. They've become as ubiquitous as lower back tattoos, and stir up just as much admiration and annoyance.

If you're going for an armband and you want it to look sexy, consider the following:

  • Make sure you keep your arms in shape. An armband will draw just as much attention to a flabby bicep as a fit bicep.
  • Hire the best artist you can find. Good work shines, no matter where it's placed.
  • Wear your tattoo with confidence. It's not just the tat that's sexy, it's the attitude of the person who wears it.

Hidden Tattoos

Some people think the sexiest tattoos are the ones most people won't see. These hidden tattoos include tats on the breasts, lower abdomen, groin, and genitals. Depending on your personal idea of sexy, you might choose a pretty design, a sophisticated pattern, or a blatant sexual come-on.

When you're in a relationship, getting your partner's name tattooed someplace private might seem like a very sexy idea. However, tattoo artists often refuse to do that kind of tattoo - they've seen so many people come in for cover-ups after break-ups, they consider it the kiss of death for romance!

Sexual Images

Search online for "sexy tattoos" and you'll find plenty of naked women inked on arms, chests, and legs. It's a little hard to know whether these tattoos are just for the wearers, or if they expect others to think they're sexy. Men with these tats are presumably admirers of women, or else they wouldn't have chosen images celebrating the female body. The question is, do they really think women will want to look at those images on their mate?

Still, from the numbers of such tattoos, it's clear that a lot of people think they're sexy. Sometimes called "pinup girls", after 1950's-era calendar girls, these tats feature:

  • Large-chested, bare-breasted women in all sorts of poses.
  • Fully naked women wearing lascivious looks.
  • Fantasy girls dressed as bikers, vampires, devils, and angels.
  • Leather-clad beauties, sometimes bearing whips and chains.
  • Schoolgirls, nurses, and other uniformed gals.

Women sometimes get tattoos of gorgeous women, too. Wearing these sexy images doesn't necessarily indicate sexuality; these tats can also represent female power. Some women choose to have sexy men tattooed on themselves to make a statement as well.

Temporary Sexy Tattoos

Always wanted a tattoo but not quite ready to get one? Does your partner admire tattoos on other people? Temporary tattoos can be a way to get sexy without making a permanent change to your body. You can find temporary lower back tattoos, ankle tattoos, even tats for your nipples. Some temporary tattoos include tiny, sparkling crystals that adhere to the skin.

You can put a temporary tattoo in as public or as private a place as you want. If you find that you like it, you might want to see an artist about getting a sexy tattoo that will last a lifetime.

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Laser Tattoos for Body

"Pain." He felt increased tingling in his hand, pressed his lips tightly together. How could this be a test? he wondered. The tingling became an itch... The itch became the faintest burning... It mounted slowly: heat upon heat upon heat... . The burning! The burning! He thought he could feel skin curling black on that agonized hand, the flesh crisping and dropping away until only charred bones remained.
This excerpt from Dune exactly describes the feeling of getting a tattoo burned into skin using a laser cutter; however, this is just the feeling. When sight, smell, and sound are added, the process turns out to be quite an experience.

The sound by itself (meaning no body parts in the cutter), is probably the easiest thing to deal with. It is just the normal whine of gears, belts and cooling fans. When that sound is mixed in with the sensation of burning flesh, it turns the laser cutter from a simple machine shop tool to a futuristic torture device.

The sight is not too bad, just a light tracing its way back and fourth across the body. As long as you don't think about the fact that the small wisp of smoke trailing the light, is actually vaporized skin, everything will be fine.

The smell is bad. It does not travel far, but when you catch a whiff of the burnt flesh stench, it is quite nauseating. The thought that you have just inhaled some of those vaporized skin flakes, and they have settled on the bottom of your lungs, is the worst.

I am leaving a disclaimer out of this, because any person with access to a laser cutter who is dumb enough to try this, deserves what they get.

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Tattoos ads turn people into ‘walking billboards’

NEW YORK - What does Angelina Jolie have in common with Joseph Stalin and Thomas Edison as well as two out of every five Americans between the ages of 26 and 40?

They all have tattoos.

Once seen as a silent cry of rebellion, tattoos now posess a status so firmly mainstream that advertisers are using them to market everything from tires and shoes to wine and energy drinks. That has its downside, though. The more acceptable tattoos become, the more they lose their edginess — and their value as advertising.
"There is always an element of rebellion or rite of passage with these things," said David Crockett, assistant professor of marketing at the University of South Carolina. "What makes them interesting is how the marketplace appropriates that rebelliousness and serves that back to you in the form of an energy drink."

The 7-Eleven convenience store chain recently started selling an energy drink called Inked, aimed at people who either have tattoos or those who want to think of themselves as the tattoo type. The company plans to market the drink at motorcycle rallies and tattoo conventions.

"We wanted to create a drink that appealed to men and women, and the tattoo culture has really become popular with both genders," said 7-Eleven's manager of non-carbonated beverages, Michele Little. "The rite of tattoo passage isn't only limited to the young, but also to those who think and act young," she said.

As the attention of young consumers gets spread between TV, blogs, online video and other distractions, marketers have resorted to alternative methods to get their interest.

Marketers use tattoos both as a cultural icon and as the method to deliver the message, said Kevin Lane Keller, a marketing professor at the Tuck business school at Dartmouth College.

"It's an attempt to do something different in a fresh way," he said.

On a never-ending quest to appeal to the young and young-minded, companies from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to Volvo are using tattoos in advertising and promotion. Even wine sellers have adopted the tattoo, with managers of the popular Yellow Tail brand sending 600,000 temporary tattoos out with an October issue of the New Yorker magazine and wine importer Billington Wines taking the name Big Tattoo Wines for its $10 a bottle brand.

For three years, Goodyear's Dunlop tire unit has offered a set of free tires to anyone who will get the company's flying-D logo tattooed somewhere on their body, and 98 people have taken up the offer. Some of them are brand loyalists who already own Dunlop tires, while others were tattoo fans who wanted to add to their body art, Dunlop brand marketing manager Janice Consolacion said. One returned for his third Dunlop tattoo this year.

For those friendly to the idea of being a walking billboard, the Web site connects advertisers with people who want to be paid for sporting tattoo advertisements.

Volvo recently utilized tattoos in another way, by creating a fictional character whose tattoos spelled out the coordinates of an undersea location of $50,000 in gold coins and the keys to a new car. Linda Gangeri, national advertising manager of Volvo Cars of North America, said the tattoo man was a way to get people to think differently about the Volvo brand.

Tattoos are becoming so pervasive that some see them as less effective in marketing to trendsetters.

Nathan Lin, a tattoo artist and organizer of the annual Boston Tattoo Convention, said the event's sponsors reflect the shifting demographics of tattoo culture in the U.S. This year, it was Toyota Motor Corp.'s Scion brand and Anheuser Busch Cos.' Budweiser. Next year's convention has gotten sponsorship interest from Internet service provider NetZero among other corporate names, he said.

"It puts it far outside the stereotypes of bikers and rough types," Lin said. "People think of urban moms having tattoos."

A study done last year by the Pew Research Center shows that 36 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds have at least one tattoo, while an even higher 40 percent of 26- to 40-year-olds have at least one.

Once corporations use tattoos, it's clear they have lost some of their edginess, Crockett said.

"You've got this constant game of cat and mouse, of youth culture and these companies. That lifecycle just gets shorter and shorter and shorter," he said.

General Mills has been selling Fruit Roll-Ups with tattoo-shaped cutouts that let children make temporary tongue tattoos. Shoe maker Nike Inc. has employed celebrity tattoo artist Mister Cartoon to design six lines of limited-edition shoes. And just this month, the glass and crystal seller Steuben Glass announced it would sell tattoo-inspired vase and crystal sculpture designs by artist Kiki Smith.

"I would certainly say it has lost most of its social stigma," said Vince Hemingson, a writer and documentary filmmaker who runs the Vanishing Tattoo Web site. The American stereotype of tattoos being for military types has become passe, he said.

American consumers watched as rock stars of the 1980s got tattoos. Their supermodel girlfriends followed, and that, Hemingson said, made tattoos visible on the women who are seen by many as icons of beauty.

That led to the proliferation of tattoos, as seen in Pew's survey results.

To underscore that, corporate lawyer David Kimelberg published in April a book, "INKED Inc., Tattooed Professionals," that features photos of doctors, lawyers and other executives, first in their normal work clothes then dressed so their large-scale tattoos can be seen. Kimelberg, who lives and works in Boston, said the goal of the photos is to show how tattoos are gaining popularity in corporate America.

Noting the shifting trends, he writes: "The rest of the world is finally catching up to us."

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About Tattoo

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 Micronesia. Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing, the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world.


The origin of the word tattoo is from the Samoan word tatau, meaning "open wound".[1] The OED gives the etymology of tattoo as "In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian (Tahitian, Samoan, Tongan, etc.) tatau. In Marquesan, tatu." Englishmen mispronounced the word tatau and borrowed it into popular usage as tattoo.[1] Sailors on the voyage later introduced both the word and reintroduced the concept of tattooing to Europe.[2]

Tattoo enthusiasts may refer to tattoos as "Ink", "Tats", "Art", or "Work", and to tattooists as "Artists". The latter usage is gaining greater support, with mainstream art galleries holding exhibitions of both traditional and custom tattoo designs. Copyrighted tattoo designs that are mass-produced to tattoo artists are known as flash, a notable instance of industrial design. Flash sheets are prominently displayed in many tattoo parlors for the purpose of providing both inspiration and ready-made tattoo images to customers.

The Japanese word irezumi means "insertion of ink" and can mean tattoos using tebori, the traditional Japanese hand method, a Western style machine, or for that matter, any method of tattooing using insertion of ink. The most common word used for traditional Japanese tatoo designs is Horimono. Japanese may use the word "tattoo" to mean non-Japanese styles of tattooing.


A tattoo on the right arm of a Scythian chieftain, whose mummy was discovered at Pazyryk, Russia
Main article: History of tattooing

Tattooing has been a Eurasian practice at least since Neolithic times. Ötzi the Iceman, dating from the fourth to fifth millennium BCE, was found in the Ötz valley in the Alps and had approximately 57 carbon tattoos consisting of simple dots and lines on his lower spine, behind his left knee, and on his right ankle. [19] Other mummies bearing tattoos and dating from the end of the second millennium BC have been discovered, such as the Mummy of Amunet from Ancient Egypt and the mummies at Pazyryk on the Ukok Plateau.[3]

Tattooing in Japan is thought to go back to the Paleolithic era, some ten thousand years ago.[citation needed] Various other cultures have had their own tattoo traditions, ranging from rubbing cuts and other wounds with ashes, to hand-pricking the skin to insert dyes.[citation needed]

Tattooing in the Western world today has its origins in Polynesia, and in the discovery of tatau by eighteenth century explorers. The Polynesian practice became popular among European sailors, before spreading to Western societies generally.[4]


Decorative and spiritual uses

Tattooing is a tradition among indigenous peoples around the world.

Tattoos have served as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, amulets and talismans, protection, and as the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures. Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person.

A memorial tattoo of a deceased loved one's initials

Today, people choose to be tattooed for cosmetic, sentimental/memorial, religious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs (see criminal tattoos) but also a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture. Some Māori still choose to wear intricate moko on their faces. In Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, the yantra tattoo is used for protection against evil and to increase luck. In the Philippines certain tribal groups believe that tattoos have magical qualities, and also to their bearers. Most traditional tattooing in the Philippines is related to the bearers Accomplishments in life or rank in the tribe.


Mark of a deserter from the British Army. Tattoo on skin and equipment. Displayed at Army Medical Services Museum.

People have also been forcibly tattooed for various reasons. The well known example is the identification system for inmates/Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust. However, tattoos can be linked with identification in more positive ways. For example, in the period of early contact between the Māori and Europeans, Māori chiefs sometimes drew their moko (facial tattoo) on documents in place of a signature. Tattoos are sometimes used by forensic pathologists to help them identify burned, putrefied, or mutilated bodies. Tattoo pigment is buried deep enough in the skin that even severe burns will often not destroy a tattoo. Because of this, many members of today's military will have their identification tags tattooed onto their chests (these are sometimes known as "meat tags" in the American armed forces). For many centuries seafarers have undergone tattooing for the purpose of enabling identification after drowning. In this way recovered bodies of such drowned persons could be connected with their family members or friends before burial. Therefore tattooists often worked in ports where potential customers were numerous. The traditional custom continues today in the Royal Navy (Great Britain) and in many others.[1]

Tattoos are also placed on animals, though very rarely for decorative reasons. Pets, show animals, thoroughbred horses and livestock are sometimes tattooed with identification and other marks. Pet dogs and cats are often tattooed with a serial number (usually in the ear, or on the inner thigh) via which their owners can be identified. Also, animals are occasionally tattooed to prevent sunburn (on the nose, for example). Such tattoos are often performed by a veterinarian and in most cases the animals are anesthetized during the process. Branding is used for similar reasons and is often performed without anesthesia, but is different from tattooing as no ink or dye is inserted during the process.


Main article: Permanent makeup

When used as a form of cosmetics, tattooing includes permanent makeup and hiding or neutralizing skin discolorations. Permanent makeup is the use of tattoos to enhance eyebrows, lips (liner and/or lipstick), eyes (liner), and even moles, usually with natural colors as the designs are intended to resemble makeup.


Main article: Medical tattoo

Medical tattoos are used to ensure instruments are properly located for repeated application of radiotherapy and for the areola in some forms of breast reconstruction. Tattooing has also been used to convey medical information about the wearer (e.g blood group).

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