– Indigenous Tattoo Portraits –

 

Documenting the Revival

 

As Indigenous peoples involved in the revival of our ancestral tattooing traditions we reach into the past and hold hands with our ancestors looking towards the future.

 

Historical Indigenous Tattoo Portrait Paintings

As a researcher and scholar I have had the honor of accessing many historical photographs found in Museum collections, from these photographs I carefully recreate ancestral faces and ancestral marks. These ancestral faces and ancestral tattoos emerge into the present inspiring this generation to embody the essence of our cultures for the coming generations. Blue for my ancestors the Nlaka'pamux represents the sky or the upper world, it is from the upper world that we gain the knowledge that will sustain us.

 

Contemporary Indigenous Tattoo Portraits

Red for me as an Nlaka'pamux person represents goodness and friendship, the portraits contained in this series are of my friends, colleagues and mentors. It is from the frayed and frail strands of our cultures that we stitch ourselves back together for the people to be.  I honor the courage, brilliance and resilience of Indigenous peoples who are working to bring back their ancestral tattooing traditions in this series.

 

Non-Indigenous Tattoo Portraits

I have included a select few non-Indigenous people who have been pivotal in my own journey into the revival of my ancestral tattooing tradition that are painted in red. These folks have and continue to assist in this work that we are doing.

 

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Honor, Challenge, and Transform.