Nlaka’pamux Skin Stitch and Hand Tattooing

After much research and alot of planning, I finally decided to begin practicing my traditional hand tattooing techniques. Here are the pictures of my first pieces, the skin stitch is four parallel lines which according to James Teit meant that the wearer was courageous, and then I tattooed three diamond shapes that represent lakes Witt there shores.

First shot at skin stitch tattooing

It is a very difficult process and hard to gage how deep you need to go etc. I did sterilize everything in a autoclave including needle and thread.

The second thing I decided to try is hand tattooing methods with motifs that were inspired by pictographs from my territory. They turned out very nice.

First design based on Thompson inspired images

This was truly an amazing experience for me, beginning the long process of as Aisea Toetu’u when speaking about the Rebirth of Tongan Tattooing and its awakening when he said in Skin and Ink Sept 2011, “It’s hard to learn anything about some thing that’s been sleeping so long. I was trying to wake it up. (37)”.

Nlaka’pamux tattooing is awakening.


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