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Bible Encyclopedias

The Nuttall Encyclopedia


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A practice of imprinting various designs, often pictorial, upon the skin by means of colouring matter, e. g . Chinese ink, cinnabar, introduced into punctures made by needles; widely in vogue in past and present times amongst uncivilised peoples, and even to some extent amongst civilised races; like the use of rouge, was mainly for the purpose of ornamentation and for improving the appearance, but also in some cases for religious purposes; reached its highest perfection in Japan, where it seems to have been largely resorted to as a substitute for clothing, and was never employed on the face, feet, or hands; among the South Sea islanders the custom is universal, and is still practised by considerable numbers of the lower-class criminals of Europe.

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Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Tattooing'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.

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Tau, Cross of