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Tattoo: An Anthropology


Tattoo: An Anthropology Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the 1830s, missionaries in French Polynesia sought to suppress the traditional art of tattooing because they believed it to be a barbaric practice. More than 150 years later, tattooing is once again thriving in French Polynesia. This engrossing book documents the meaning of tattooing in contemporary French Polynesian society. In this case, its resurgence is part of a vibrant cultural revival movement. Kuwahara examines the complex significance of the art, including its relationship to gender, youth culture, ethnicity and prison life. She also provides unique photographic evidence of the sophisticated techniques and varied forms that characterize French Polynesian tattooing today.

Book News Annotation:

Kuwahara (anthropology, U. of London) examines the significance of tattooing in contemporary French Polynesian society. Unlike previous studies that have focused on tradition and ethnic identity, this scholarly volume addresses the discontinuity of the Tahitian tattooing tradition (which was suppressed in the 1830s and revived in the 1980s), as well as the spatiality of tattooing. After providing a history of Tahitian tattooing and an introduction to the practice and form of tattooing, the book looks at tattooing in terms of social relationships, ownership & transmission, festivals, identities, and the practice inside a prison. Distributed in the US by Palgrave Macmillan.
Annotation 2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Makiko Kuwuhara is Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Table of Contents

Introduction * Discontinuity and Displacement: Place and History of Tattooing * Tapu and Body: Tattooing in the Late Eighteenth Century * Recovering Ma'ohi Skin: Renaissance of Tattooing * Different Skins: Change through European Contact * Religious Influence: Evangelization and Tattooing * Law and Punishment * Tattooing and Resistance * Conclusion

Product Details

Kuwahara, Makiko
Berg Publishers
Beauty & Grooming - General
Sex role
Body, human
Anthropology - General
Subjects & Themes - Travel - General
Tattooing - French Polynesia - History
Tattooing - French Polynesia -
Themes/Regional (see also TRAVEL/Pictorials)
Subjects & Themes/Regional (see also TRAVEL/Pictorials)
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
60 b/w illus.
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Body Art and Tattooing
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Economics » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Beauty and Fashion » Beauty
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Body Art
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Collectible Editions

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