Urban Tattoo Festival in New York

The English word “tattoo” originated from Polynesian languages such as Tahitian and Samoan. Captain James Cook introduced it to English speakers through his account of his voyage around the world from 1768 to 1771.


The records show that tattoos have served many different purposes: as rites of passage, marks of status, symbols of spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures or marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, amulets and talisman for protection and as the marks of outcasts and convicts.


Throughout the years, tattoos have evolved in many ways. In recent years, tattooing has transcended its subculture and moved into pop culture. Typically, in modern-day urban culture, tattooing is becoming more popular among all age groups and can be a way for people to express their identity.