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Tattoo: An Anthropologyby Makiko Kuwahara
Synopses & Reviews
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 (booknews.com)
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
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Arts and Entertainment » Art » Body Art and Tattooing