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Fine Tattoo Art: Stephen James by Darren Black

Model Stephen James at SUPA Model Management updates his portfolio with a portrait session by fashion photographer Darren Black.

A curiosity about tattoos

A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo as, “In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian tatau. In Tahitian, tatu.” The word tatau was introduced as a loan word into English; its pronunciation was changed to conform to English phonology as “tattoo”. Sailors on later voyages both introduced the word and reintroduced the concept of tattooing to Europe.

The first written reference to the word, “tattoo” (or Samoan “Tatau”) appears in the journal of Joseph Banks (24 February 1743 – 19 June 1820), the naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour: “I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition”.

The word “tattoo” was brought to Europe by the explorer James Cook, when he returned in 1771 from his first voyage to Tahiti and New Zealand. In his narrative of the voyage, he refers to an operation called “tattaw”. Before this it had been described as scarring, painting, or staining.

Tattoo enthusiasts may refer to tattoos as “ink”, “pieces”, “skin art”, “tattoo art”, “tats”, or “work”; to the creators as “tattoo artists”, “tattooers”, or “tattooists”; and to places where they work as “tattoo shops”, “tattoo studios”, or “tattoo parlours”.

Click here to see more tattoos published in Creative Boys Club.


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