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tribal tattoo

Types of tattoos

part two

The American Academy of dermatology distinguished 5 types of Tattoos, Traumatic tattoos, also called "natural tattoo", that result from injuries, especially asphalt from road injuries or pencil lead, amateur tattoos, professional tattoos, both via traditional methods and modern tattoo machines, cosmetic tattoos, also known as "permanent makeup" and medical tattoos.


According to George Orwell, coal miners could develop characteristic tattoos owing to coal dust getting into wounds, this can also occur with substances like gunpowder, similarly a traumatic tattoo occurs when a substance such as asphalt is rubbed into a wound as the result of some kind of accident or trauma, these are particularly difficult to remove as they tend to be spread across several different layers of skin and scarring or permanent discoloration is almost unavoidable depending on the location.

In addition, tattooing of the gingiva from implantation of amalgam particles during dental filling placement and removal is possible and not uncommon, another example of such accidental tattoos is the result of a deliberate or accidental stabbing with a pencil or pen leaving graphite or ink beneath the skin.


Many tattoos serve as a rite of passage, mark 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 mark 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.

Today people choose to be tattooed for cosmetic, sentimental/memomorial, religious and magical reasons and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs, but also a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture, some maori still choose to wear intricate moko on their faces in Laos, Canbodia 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 help to protect their bearers, most traditional tattooing in the Philippines is related to the bearer's accomplishments in life or rank in the tribe.

Extensive decorative tattooing is common among members of traditional freak shows and by performance artists who follow in their tradition


People have also been forcibly tattooed, a well-known example is the identification system for inmates in nazi concentration camps during the holocaust, tattoos have also been used for identification in other ways, for example, during the Roman Empire, Roman soldiers were required by law to have identifying tattoos on their hands in order to make it difficult to hide if they deserted, Gladiators and slaves were likewise tattooed, emperor Constantine I banned tattooing the face around AD 330 and the second council of Nicaea banned all body markings as a pagan practice in AD 787

In the period of early contact between the maori and europeans, the maori people were hunted for their moko tattoos and decapitated to provide souvenirs of thf new world, moko tattoo7 were facial designs worn by women and men to indicate their lineage, social position, and status within the tribe, the tattoo art was a sacred marker of identity ammg the maori and also referred to as a vehicle for storing one's tapu or spiritual being in the afterlife.

Tattoos are sometimes used by forensi2 pathologists to help them identify burned, putrified or mutilated bodies as tattoo pigment lies encapsulated deep in the skin, tattoos are not easily destroyed even when the skin is burned.

Tattoos are also placed on animals, though rarely for decorative reasons, pets, show animals, thoroughbread horses and livestock are sometimes tattooed with identification or 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.


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 and even moles usuall with natural colours, as the designs are intended to resemble make up.


Medical tattoos are used to ensure instruments are properly located for repeat application of radiotherapy and for the areola in some forms of breast reconstruction, tattning has also been used to convey medical information about the wearer (e.g. Blood group medical condition ect) tattoos are used in skin tones to cover vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disorder.

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