Posted by: sophiabooksblog | March 7, 2010

Tattooing the World

"Tattooing the World" by Juniper EllisTattooing the World
by Juniper Ellis
(Columbia University Press)
ISBN: 978-0-231-14369-1

Tribal tattoos have gone from being the toast of hip urbanites to passé and gauche in the space of a decade. What gets forgotten in discussions about them, though, is where they came from and what their history and significance is–not to North Americans or Western culture, but to those living in the Pacific, where many of the designs originated.

Tattooing the World aims to trace the history and significance of tattooing in mainstream culture from many of its Pacific roots to modern times, and pinpoints the clashes that erupted when tattooed societies met the non-tattooed.

It is an academic book, to be sure, and people looking for a collection of cool designs or reference material will come away from this volume disappointed, but those who want something to shed light and perspective on tattoo culture and history will be thrilled. Tattooing the World is a welcome addition in an otherwise under-represented area of study. —Chris

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