Haters gonna hate. What’s to say about societal objections to tattoo’s? Sure you’ve got some people with some ugly ones they regret, or reminders of a past they no long embrace. And then you’ve got the employment horror stories. People losing their jobs, losing out on opportunities, Japanese mayors thinking you’re a member of the Yakuza (and having to undergo the painful tattoo removal procedures as a perquisite for employment or status– increasing the demand for long sleeve clothing and neck coverings of all sorts—regardless of what it is bearing ink on your skin can in a sense make you some sort of a social pariah. But one thing that’s untrue is the notion that tattoos are a fad or phase. That society just thought it was suddenly cool to tag each other’s skin with ink and call it “art”.
No my friends tattoos go back. How back? We’re talking B.C.-back. The truth is that tattoos have existed long before Hippies and the Yakuza have, respectively. In fact, they’ve existed before society even. As an art, no less as evidenced by a recent discovery deep within Russia’s permafrost: an Ancient Siberian princess to tell it all. A recent discovery of a preserved body belonging to that of Princess Ukok, a Siberian Princess from 2,600 years ago who died at the age of 25, has aroused much shock to the anthropological and scientific community regarding primitive cultures. She’s come covered in some serious ink. And not just stains on the skin, we’re talking designs.
As the UK Daily Mail reports, “The remarkable body art includes mythological creatures and experts say the elaborate drawings were a sign of age and status for the ancient nomadic Pazyryk people, described in the 5th century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus.” Tattooed lines and primitive designs we’re seen in the discovery of the iceman but nothing near as elaborate as this recent finding. And not only was she respected she was found buried with several horses, offerings of delicacies such as horse and sheep meat, ornaments made from wood, bronze and gold and a small container of cannabis…So that also existed before the hippies too, huh?
According to Novosibirsk scientist Natalia Polosmak who made the discovery, “’Compared to all tattoos found by archeologists around the world, those on the mummies of the Pazyryk people are the most complicated, and the most beautiful. More ancient tattoos have been found, like the Ice Man found in the Alps – but he only had lines, not the perfect and highly artistic images one can see on the bodies of the Pazyryks. It is a phenomenal level of tattoo art. Incredible.” One would have to wonder what it was like making tattoos without all the technology that makes it possible today. And what it would take to make such an incredible design of permanence in the most primitive of setting.
Either way, tattoos have been around for a while. It never strayed from society, society strayed from it.