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1769 - 1771

The origin of the word "tattoo".

Marco Polo and John Hawkins had made accounts of tattooed people before, but not as relevant.

After a trip through the Pacific and a visit to Tahiti, Captain James Cook (English navigator and explorer) in the company of Joseph Banks tells how the people of this place permanently painted their body and arouses great interest in this body art in England.
Cook also transcribes the Polynesian word tatauwhich means "to strike" or "to mark" into his native language for the first time, using the term tattow, which was later changed to tattoo. The English word is translated into French as tatouage, which later came into the Spanish language as tatuaje.

P.S.: I have found references that say that the word tatau is of Samoan origin, other references say that it is of Tahitian or Maori origin. So I have decided to use in the text the word "Polynesian" to refer to the origin of the term. tatau.
Caroli Dilli Tattoo & Art
Development + Photography by Fidel