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The Buchtelite

Long history of tattoos leads up to modern day creativity

By Mary Menzemer

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The art of tattooing has been in existence for thousands of years, but the meaning of the practice has changed drastically.

For example, take Europe’s oldest natural human mummy: Otzi, or the “Iceman.”  He was found with tattoos of dashed lines down his spine and around his ankles. It is believed that these tattoos were used for pain relief, like acupuncture.

Many Egyptian women have been found with tattoos on their thighs, signifying their identity as concubines. Ancient Greeks used tattoos to mark their slaves.

Indian tribes such as the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs used tattoos as symbols of the certain tribe they belonged to. This raises the question: Why do people get tattoos today?

Tattoos today (at least in first world areas) are used more for pure aesthetics than anything else. They are used as a means for an artist to express himself or herself.

There are numerous tattoo contests throughout the country, ranging from local to national. However, some folks may pay homage to a loved one with a tattoo or physically display their friendship with another individual with matching
tattoos.

Whatever the reason may be for a person to get a tattoo, there is more freedom now than there was ever before both in the workplace and in social settings.

Tattoos can still sometimes cause controversy in the workplace, but there has been much leniency recently as to the extent of how far one can go.

My tattoo on my upper arm shows at work sometimes when I wear short sleeves. There are also two other employees with tattoos on their forearms which they are not required to cover up.

With blue collar and retail jobs, it really does not matter what tattoos you have or where they are.

Even in white collar professions, most tattoos are covered if one wears a long-sleeved dress shirt and dress pants. One can still obtain a respectable profession if they have a tattoo; they are not abhorrent and do not make an individual seem like less of a person.

Tattoos are not for everyone, but they can help a person express his or her interests in a visual manner, and can be worth the physical pain.

It does not matter what kind of tattoo a person gets, as long as it makes them happy.

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