The art of tattooing appeared in many cultures as far back as 5,000 years ago. In fact, their purpose ranged from everything between fashion and protecting the wearer from evil spirits, according to an article on Gizmodo.
The article reads that
Tattoo is among humanity’s earliest and most ubiquitous art forms. Cultures from every habitable continent have embedded permanent dyes in their bodies for more than 5000 years—as mystical wards, status symbols, rites of passage, or simply as personal decoration. That tradition continues today, just with a much smaller chance of infection.
Further more, the popularity of tattooing in native tribes around the world introduced the white and western world to the art during colonial expansion.
To read more on the history of tattoos click here.