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    The word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Samoan word tatau, meaning “to strike”. A tattoo is a type of body art that is permanent. The skin is punctured with needles, and ink, dyes, and pigments are injected into the deep layer of the skin to create a design.

    Tattoos used to be done by hand, with the tattoo artist puncturing the skin with a needle and manually injecting the ink. Professional tattoo artists use tattoo machines, even though this method is still employed in some regions of the world. A tattoo machine powers the needles up and down as ink is deposited in the skin.