Tattooing can be found in many parts of the world including Europe, America, Japan and New Zealand. The earliest form of tattooing was found on Neolithic people in Europe.
Tattoos are created by inserting ink under layers of the skin to create a pattern or picture. Tattoos are usually permanent but may fade over time. Traditionally, tattooing was done using a hammer and needle. Needles were sometimes made from material such as sharp bamboo whilst ink was obtained from animals or burnt wood. Modern tattoos often use synthetic inks and electronically-controlled metal needles.
Modern tattooing has its origins in Polynesia in the Pacific. Explorers and sailors who travelled to this part of the world in the 18th century had themselves tattooed in the Polynesian style.