The Painted Prince; From Royal To Entertainment:
The painted prince as he became known, was not just some random native with a fun nickname. No, in 1691 William Dampier, brought an (at the time) New Guinea prince back with him to Britain. The reason for this, was the fact that he was utterly fascinated with the man. Not because of his native culture as such, rather because of the man’s looks.
The prince was indeed covered head to toe in tattoos.
Prince Giolo as he was also known, was a rare site on European soil. Many explorers at the time were bringing natives back to Europe, especially London, to be viewed and examined. Especially tattooed natives were of high interest, the Prince was indeed no exception to this.
It even became quite the attraction for European explorers, to go and find “savages” to show off back home. As well as recording whatever they found, especially when they encountered tattooed people, who carried the most fascination and amazement back home. Tattooing at the time, had been driven very far underground in Europe and Britain, so seeing these heavily tattooed savages, was quite entertaining, fascinating and educational.
The painted prince might not have raised more than a few eyebrows today. He might have scared people in the older generation, but he would hardly have made it onto TV? or perhaps he would have, since it seems there is still a huge fascination from the mainstream media, in showing off the really extremely tattooed, and learning about them.
Perhaps we are more like our ancestors than we think? At least the curiosity is good, just don’t display anyone like an animal against their will haha.