Tattooing is permanently marking the skin with ink.
We can thank a crewman on Captain James Cook’s ship the Endeavour for sharing the word—tattau, to mark—in his log while in Tahiti in 1769.
Cultures around the world have always used it for decoration or identification, and some of the oldest tattoos date back to Egyptian mummies. The Japanese perfected the use of high color. Sailors spread the art to Europe, and in Great Britain in the late-1800s, tattoos were high fashion and widespread among the wealthy. During WWII Holocaust prisoners of war bore tattooed numbers on their arms.
Some sociologists have written that tattooing is deviant, while others argue that something so widespread can no longer be called deviant. A 2007 Harris Poll reported that over 40 percent of Americans ages 25-40 had at least one tattoo, as compared to 3 percent 20 years ago, and about 0.5 percent 50 years ago.
On today’s show, Anchorage tattoo artist James Allen will share the history of local tattooing and his own experiences as a tattoo artist. Lauren Caruso and E.J. David will share the story behind their tattoos. We’d love to hear yours.
- A Virgin under the Needle (Tattoo Parlors as Post Modern Spaces of Agency), Western Journal of Communication
- Tattoo Stories, book and photo gallery
- Savoonga artist to explore traditional Native tattoos, (Loussac database) Anchorage Daily News
- Tattoo images from the Arctic and Alaska, online tattoo museum
- State pride guides Alaskans in choosing tattoos, (Loussac Database) Anchorage Daily News
- Alaska Statute 08.13.217, covering tattoos
- History of Tattooing, How Stuff Works
- Tattoo fast facts, How Stuff Works
- Tattoo, Wikipedia
- Tattoo gallery, Anchorage Daily News
- Alaska-themed tattoos, Anchorage Daily News
- James Allen, Anchorage tattoo artist
- Lauren Caruso, moose biologist
- E.J. David, psychology professor
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HOST: Kathleen McCoy
LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)
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