Tattoo Traditions of Native North America

Ancient and Contemporary Expressions of Identity

Lars Krutak

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  • $70.00 hardcover (9789491394096) Add to Cart
  • Published: 2014
  • Subject Listing: Native American Studies, Body Art
  • Bibliographic information: 256 pp., 250 illus., 9.5 x 11.25 in.
  • Territorial rights: North American rights only
  • Distributed for: LM Publishers
  • Contents

For thousands of years the Indigenous peoples of North America have produced astonishingly rich and diverse forms of tattooing. Long neglected by anthropologists and art historians, tattooing was a time-honored practice that expressed the patterns of tribal social organization and religion, while also channelling worlds inhabited by deities, spirits, and the ancestors. Tattoo Traditions of Native North America explores the many facets of indelible Indigenous body marking across every cultural region of North America. As the first book on the subject, it breaks new ground on one of the least-known mediums of Native American expressive culture that nearly disappeared from view in the twentieth century, until it was reborn in recent decades.
Dr. Lars Krutak is a cultural anthropologist, photographer, and writer who has traveled the Indigenous world for over fifteen years documenting the traditions of tribal body modification. He works for the National Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Tattooing Arts of Tribal Women, Kalinga Tattoo: Ancient and Modern Expressions of the Tribal, and Magical Tattoos and Scarification: Spiritual Skin. Wisdom. Healing. Shamanic Power. Protection.

"Simply put, this book is beautiful. [It] presents [tattoo] traditions with levity, generosity, and respect, and most importantly, not as a dying or vanishing art form but one which is re-emerging, giving voice to the people to whom these traditions belong."
-Analisa Tripp, News from Native California

"Tattoo Traditions of Native North America begins to fill the void in the global record of traditional tattooing practices. . . . This volume provides a depth of cultural understanding rarely seen in conversations about tattooing in North America."
-Rhonda Dass, Anthropos

"The most comprehensive book yet published on the tattoo practices of Native Americans. . . . Especially valuable to readers with an interest in the Native North American cultures in general. . . . The book makes these practices seem less like remnants of a lost history, and more like what they are: a changing part of a living culture."
-Margo Demello, Western Folklore