The recent craze of Tattoo has become style statement in the world. Be it Europe, America or India, this art has become extremely popular in last few years. Though this art has not newly been introduced to world, the craze of this art had never ever gained so much popularity before. Nobody can exactly tell as when this art came into being but ancient evidences like Egyptian mummies tell that this art has existed since a time immemorial. It is said that this art existed in the world in the ancient and prehistoric culture even before the birth of Christ.
The Celtic Culture
The Celts was a tribal race that moved across the Western Europe. They existed from 1200 B.C. to 700 B.C. They ultimately settled in England around 400 B.C. Now whatever has survived from Celtic culture is only to be found in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The Celtic culture believed in body art and tattooing and had a long history of it. Permanent body tattoos were done with woad at that time. Woad left a blue permanent mark on the body. The most popular design amongst Celts for tattooing was spirals; sometimes single, double or triple spirals all interlinked within each other. Single spiral represented the inner strength and the ethereal private energy. It symbolized the expansion of all the three levels of consciousness. Double spiral represented the balance between the mortal world and the spiritual world. And finally the triple spiral symbolized the coming together of the mother, the maiden and the crone; since Celts were pagans, theirs was a matriarch society. The common theme in all the tattoos was the connection of everything in the world.
At the time when Julius Caesar raged a war against Britannia and invaded southern part of it in 55 BCE, he mentioned that the Britons had their bodies painted in blue color. This he thought made them look more aggressive and frightening. Later in the 19th century, the great historian, William Betham wrote in his historical study that ‘Britannia’ as a word has originated from a Celtic word which means ‘land of painted people’. Europe has a jagged development and history of tattooing. With time the meaning of tattoos also varied in the European society; sometimes it was only used for the decorative purposes while at other time it symbolized as a status symbol for the upper class. It was rumored that Queen Victoria got herself inked in an unrevealed intimate place on the body. There was a time when getting a tattoo was considered as a stigma and was correlated to convicts and criminals.
Extinction Of Tattoo Culture From Europe
The tattoo culture was present in Europe like everywhere else before it practiced out after the church edict forbade them on the pretext of some quotes in Bible. As Christianity advanced in Europe the tattoo culture died gradually. It was a popular trend to mark a Christian body only if it meant to represent as a culprit of some shameful deed. This was how somewhere till 17th century, the tattoo art almost extinct from Europe.
Reintroduction Of Tattoo Culture In Europe
The tattoo culture was reintroduced in the country when 18th-century European sailors traveled to Pacific islands and got fascinated by this art. They brought some form of exotic art back to Europe. French sailors were most fascinated from the art. The Frenchmen Jean Baptiste Cabri was the first person to get his entire body tattooed and display himself for an admission fee at fairs. However till late 18th century this art was considered to be nomadic and lower class art basically symbolizing the criminals and uneducated class people.
The acceptation for this tattoo art did not grow in Europe before Captain Cook, world circumnavigator introduced Omai, a tattooed native from Tahiti to England. Quite later, Polynesians introduced a facial style of tattooing called Moko to Europe which is still being used today. Slowly and gradually the art of tattooing gained popularity in Europe when people traveling to various parts of the world came with new perspective about the art and interacted it with the natives. It was in 19th century that the art gained popularity in the upper-class of Europe. Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill's mother popularly sported a snake on her wrist.
Present Scenario of Tattoo Art in Europe
With time the European society has come over the taboo that they associated with the Tattoo art. People who love this wild yet creative form of art openly exhibit tattoo on their body. Though a debate of acceptability of tattoo art by staunch Christians is on till now also but people who are fashion frenzy hardly even care about it. People in Europe sport various kinds of tattoos with immense pride and zeal all over their body.