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- The first written reference to the word, "tattoo" (or Samoan "Tatau") appears in the journal of Joseph Banks, the naturalist aboard Captain Cook's ship the HMS Endeavour in 1769: "I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humour or disposition".
- Extensive decorative tattooing is common among members of traditional freak shows and by performance artists who follow in their tradition.
- The prevalence of women in the tattoo industry, along with larger numbers of women bearing tattoos, appears to be changing negative perceptions.
- Early tattoo inks were obtained directly from nature and were extremely limited in pigment variety.