omslag Krutak

Tattoo Traditions of Native North America

Ancient and Contemporary Expressions of Identity


For thousands of years astonishingly rich and diverse forms of tattooing have been produced by the Indigenous peoples of North America. Long neglected by anthropologists and art historians, tattooing was a time-honoured traditional 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 Amerindian expressive culture that nearly disappeared from view in the twentieth century, until it was reborn in recent decades.

website Lars Krutak: – tattoo anthropologist

A short interview with Lars Krutak on his new book: Tattoo Traditions of Native North America, filmed in Copenhagen at Colin Dale’s studio, Skin & Bone

“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

“Tattoo Traditions of Native North America. Ancient and Contemporary Expressions of Identity” begins to fill the void in the global record of traditional tattooing practices. Pulling together historical records and illustrations, Krutak balances the predominant outsider authority with contemporary indigenous voices. This volume provides a depth of cultural understanding rarely seen in conversations about tattooing in North America.
Rhonda Dass, Anthropos 110.2015