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Tattooing the World: Pacific Designs in Print and Skin
In the 1830s an Irishman named James F. O'Connell acquired a full-body tattoo while living as a castaway in the Pacific. The tattoo featured traditional patterns that, to native Pohnpeians, defined O'Connell's life; they made him wholly human. Yet upon traveling to New York, these markings singled him out as a freak. His tattoos frightened women and children, and ministers ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2008 by Columbia University Press
(first published February 8th 2008)
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I was hoping that this book would be more about the different tattoo designs and meanings behind them. Instead, it was a research paper citing multiple books and other writings to show how tattoos have been interpreted, how they have possibly changed interpretations, and why it is hard to find to true interpretations of the designs. It was a bit dry reading from time to time.