Tattoo – How the Word Evolved!
The word tattoo came from the word ‘tatow’ or ‘tatau’, a Samoan practice of skin marking. The word was adopted by the English language, with the pronunciation changed in order to match the English phonology as ‘tattoo’. Sailors who were on expedition later introduced the word, as well as the concept of tattooing in Europe.
People who are into tattooing also refer to it as ‘tats’, ‘pieces’, ‘ink’ or ‘work’. People who do the tattooing are referred to as ‘tattooists’ or ‘artists’. These artists, with the resurgence of the tattoo industry, have been given the opportunity to hold exhibitions of both traditional and innovative tattoo designs. They are even holding these exhibitions in mainstream art galleries that support them.
There are also copyrighted tattoo designs that are produced in large numbers to tattooists. These types of designs are called Flash. These flash sheets are notably displayed in a lot of tattoo shops in order to provide inspiration and ready-made tattoo designs for prospect customers.
Different countries have different terms for tattoo. In Japan, tattoo can be termed as ‘irezumi’, which means ‘insertion of ink’. This insertion of ink can be done using a ‘tebori’, the traditional hand method that the Japanese use, or by using the usual tattooing machine used by the Western countries. The most commonly used word for the very traditional tattoo designs is ‘horimono’. The Japanese sometimes use the word tattoo to refer to the non-Japanese way of creating a tattoo. In Taiwan, the atayal tribe wear facial tattoo and call it ‘badasun’. The tattoo symbolizes that the adult man can protect their native soil and that the adult woman is eligible to weave cloth and do housekeeping. These are just two of the many countries that also practice the art of tattooing and the different terms they give it.
Although both of these countries are from the East, the art of marking the body for rituals or for decorative purposes was still practiced, just as the Western countries also practiced it. Even if the countries used different techniques or equipments to accomplish it, both had a similar purpose and that is to express faith and beliefs.