Giolo

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Giolo, or "Prince Giolo" as he was billed was one of the first (if not the first) attempts at exhibiting a tattooed person in the west for profit.

In 1691, William Dampier accepted Giolo as settlement of a debt, with the intent to profit from his exhibition in London. Dampier invested heavily in promoting the exhibition which was greatly anticipated by the English public, including the King and Queen. Among other claims, Dampier said that Giolo's tattoos provided him protection against the venom of serpents.

Despite the successful marketing, the venture was ultimately a failure due to Giolo falling ill and dying of smallpox shortly after his arrival from the Philippines. However, the interest and fervor created set the stage for future attractions and performers.

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