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The first written reference to the word tattoo (or tatau) appears in the journal of Joseph Banks (24 February 1743 – 19 June 1820), the naturalist aboard explorer Captain Cook's ship the HMS Endeavour: "I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humour or disposition".
The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures.
Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person.
Today, people choose to be tattooed for artistic, cosmetic, sentimental/memorial, religious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs (see criminal tattoos) or a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture.
Text-based tattoos including quotes, lyrics, personal mottos or scripture are popular in western culture.
As an example some Christians might have a Psalm or verse from the Bible tattooed on their body.