Traditional tattoo tools

Traditional tattoo tools are centuries old art form and throughout the years, there have been significant changes to the methods used in the process. Read on to discover how tattoo tools have progressed from ancient bronze needles and chisels made of bone, right up to contemporary tattoo machines as we know them.

1. Traditional tattoo tools: Ancient Egyptian Tattoo Tools

Figural tattoos depicting animals and ancient gods, have been discover on Egyptian mummies dating back to somewhere between 3351–3017 BC. Web-like geometric patterns are also inke into the skin as a form of protection against evil spirits and even death.

These designs are made up of a carbon-base pigment, likely soot, that is insert into the dermis layer of the skin using a multi-needle tattoo tool. This mean that large areas could be cover more quickly and rows of dots or lines achieve together.

2. Ta Moko tools

traditional tattoo tools

Polynesian tattooing is famous for its beautiful designs and lengthy history. Maori tattooing, in particular, also know as Ta Moko, is traditionally practise by the indigenous people of New Zealand. These inkings were, and are still, highly scare. With a focus on tattooing the face, each design was use to represent membership to a particular tribe, with a specific location to signify rank and status.

3. Traditional tattoo tools: Dayak Tattoo Techniques

The Dayak of Borneo are another tribe that has been practicing tattooing for hundreds of years. For their tattoos, a needle is fashionable from the thorns of orange trees while the ink is made from a mixture of soot and sugar. The designs of Dayak tattoos are sacre, and there are multiple reasons why someone of this tribe may get tattoo: to celebrate a special occasion, sexual maturity, the birth of a child, social status or interests, and more.

The Haida people who have lived on an island off the Western coast of Canada for about 12,500 years. Though their tools resemble Japanese tebori instruments, the way of application is different, as are the ceremonies in conjunction with a sacred tattoo session.

5. Thai Sak Yant

This ancient Thai tattooing tradition dates back to the 16th century, when Naresuan ruled and his soldiers sought spiritual protection ahead of battles. It remains popular to this day, and there’s even an annual religious celebration dedicated to it.

6. Japanese Tebori

The Tebori tattooing technique dates back to the 17th century and it has remained popular for centuries. In fact, up until around 40 years ago, all tattooing in Japan was done by hand.

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