Stage 1 Sources


Boo, Jinxi. “History of Tattoos.” Tattoo Advice and History. Jinxi Boo, 09 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.

This article covers the whole history of tattoo guns.  Starting with pre-electric tattoo gun and different uses of tattoos in culture.  In 1891 the first electric tattoo gun was created by  Samuel O’Reilly, a tattoo artist.  Before this artists were using needles attached to a wooden handle.  Since the electric gun was created getting a tattoo has become much easier and more common. And then the development of the electric tattoo and the components that made up the first gun.   This source aligns with other works I have been using by filling in information about the history about tattoo guns and how they originated.  It lead me to future research about where materials used in the gun comes from and how they are created.  

Reasons Behind getting a Tattoo

Carmen, Rachael A., Amanda E. Guitar, and Haley M. Dillon. “Ultimate Answers to Proximate Questions: The Evolutionary Motivations Behind Tattoos and Body Piercings in Popular Culture.” Review of General Psychology 16.2 (2012): 134-43. ProQuest. 23 Oct. 2016.

This article is a modern view on why people get tattoos.  It gave me an insight to what the culture today is behind tattoos today.  People have a number of reasons to get a tattoo.  From the lose of a loved one to getting one just for fun.  The author says that these three categories apply to the last hundred years,  “(a) a symbol of an important past event, love, or friendship, (b) group membership, and/or (c) a marker of individuality” (Carmen, Guitar, Dillon).  I think these are three pretty accurate categories for reasons behind people getting tattoos.  This source aligned with another article I read that was about the different kinds of people that had tattoos.  This article really emphasized that any kind of person can get tattoos and young or old people who want one will get one.  Some follow up questions would be hearing from someone getting their first tattoo the process they went through to decide what they were getting and where and why and when.  


Swan, J. (1874). The Haidah Indians of the Queen Charlotte’s Islands, British Columbia : With a brief description of their carvings, tattoo designs, etc. (Smithsonian contributions to knowledge ; v. 21, art. 4). Washington]: [Smithsonian Institution].

This is the book I was able to read at masc.  It was an account from J. Swan about a tribe in British Columbia, regarding their traditions about tattoos. It was a good look at how tattoos were viewed in earlier times. James Swan writes his account of a Haidah Indian tribe from Queen Charlotte’s Island.  This was published in 1874 and focuses on the carvings and tattoo designs of this tribe.  Swan describes the tattoos he sees throughout a family.  They all have a symbol tattooed on their body to show their connection in the family or the family name.  On the chief or headman of the house, all of the figures of the family are tattooed somewhere on his body.  Swan describes the different designs used and the styles seen.  The importance of this is the tradition behind these kinds of tattoos.  These are very traditional to this tribe and represent family and order.  Many other cultures have traditions similar to this.  This connected to the article about the different categories of why people got a tattoo because these tattoos were solely family related and related to the tribe whereas most tattoos now are not for that reason.  Questions that this book lead me to, how the tattooing process and tradition started in this culture?  And who was the one responsible for doing this art on the bodies of others?  Also how old were those that got tattoos?  Was it an age right or the become of a man or woman stages?


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