I previously posted an article about the story of Yaari Kingeekuk a Yupik artist who lives and works in Alaska as a cultural teacher and educator, and who is embodying her culture with traditional tattoos. I have gained her permission to post a few photos of her. Another Indigenous person in the process engaging the hegemonic ideal of beauty by tattooing the face. As I was looking over the pictures I have been able to acquire, both historical and contemporary of Indigenous people with facial tattoos I am struck by the beauty that is Indigenous facial tattooing. I know it doesn’t really fit into the mainstream conception of beauty, because it seems the face is the last holy place when it comes to contemporary tattooing. But if you get the chance look over the pictures and admire the beauty that is embodied in them.
While searching the Canada Archives website I found these amazing paintings by John Verelst, the first painting is entitled. Sagayenkwaraton (baptized Brant). Named Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow, King of the Maquas (Mohawk) It depicts a Mohawk King with an amazing example of the rich history of Tattooing in North America among its Indigenous peoples. Verelst has painted tattoos on the arms, chest and face of Sagayenkwaraton
This post has nothing to do with Indigenous Tattooing but everything to do with Modern Tattooing, when I seen it I had to post it. I have begun to realize the other day that to deny that portion of me that is not at all Indigenous, the portion that comes from being brought up in an Indigenous diaspora, predominately in an urban environment is deny part of who I am. Just as George Nuku said the ancient and the modern have to merge otherwise we do not have current reality (my paraphrase).
One name I have always been amazed about and followed wherever I could find anything about has been Keone Nunes, I have read numerous articles and watched many documentaries which have featured him. I am amazed and humbled by his grace and presence. I look forward to one day meeting and talking to him about his tattooing and the revival of Hawaiian tattooing.