In the period of early contact between the Māori and Europeans, the Maori people hunted and decapitated each other for their moko tattoos, which they traded for European items including axes and firearms. Moko tattoos were facial designs worn to indicate lineage, social position, and status within the tribe. The tattoo art was a sacred marker of identity among the Maori and also referred to as a vehicle for storing one's tapu, or spiritual being, in the afterlife.
Getting a tattoo, although a permanent decision regardless, can yield all sorts of different results as the years go by. Some of the tattoos that look coolest in the short-term may end up changing drastically over time. And this can be really frustrating if you weren't prepared. Luckily, there are some tattoos that look better with age, and tattoo artists know exactly what they are.
Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent designs—sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment. Joann Fletcher, research fellow in the department of archaeology at the University of York in Britain, describes the history of tattoos and their cultural significance to people around the world, from the famous " Iceman," a 5,200-year-old frozen mummy, to today’s Maori.
The finger second in from the pinkie finger on the left hand is commonly known as the ‘ring finger’ and is often reserved for a wedding ring as a sign that you’re married. It is quite common place for modern couples to get a tattoo there in place of a ring as rings are very expensive especially to lose! A small, simple tattoo such as the love heart above looks beautiful and is also easy to cover up should you need to.
Placement is one of the most important things to determine for the tattoo. The design can be unique, creative and really attractive, but if it is not scaled to the body, it won’t work out the way you want. The question is: ”Are you getting a tattoo for its design or just to fill the empty spot on your body?”. The most important thing to remember is that a tattoo should complement your body, be a part of it, and look natural.
The word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Samoan word tatau, meaning "to strike". The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo as "In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian (Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, etc.) tatau. In Marquesan, tatu." Before the importation of the Polynesian word, the practice of tattooing had been described in the West as painting, scarring or staining.