MagazineApr 21, 2011
The first written reference to the word, "tattoo" (or Samoan "Tatau") appears in the journal of Joseph Banks, the naturalist aboard Captain Cook's ship the HMS Endeavour in 1769: "I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition". The art tattooing has been practised for centuries and was mainly used in a tribal decoration and cultural sense. In the 21st century this is still mainly the essence of a tattoo. To make a statement about yourself to others. What a 45-year-old woman with a tramp stamp or an accountant from London with a tribal tattoo are trying to say with their markings is only to be guessed at. The same can be said for these extreme tattoos.