Sewing Tattoos; History Fun Fact Vol. 25

Sewing Tattoos; History Fun Fact Vol. 25
March 18
12:01 2018

Sewing Tattoos; Ancient Way of The Artic:

Sewing tattoos are not tattoos that depict sewing. It is as literal as the name sounds, it is a tattoo method, wherein the tattoo is sewn into the skin with needle and thread. Or rather with bone and hair in ancient arctic regions, where the method was first discovered by Europeans in 1701.

For most arctic tribal people, this was a hallowed tradition. Often performed with a fishbone or another form of sharpened bone and a thread of reindeer sinew. The tattoo would be sewn into the skin, with the thread covered in the chosen material to create the pigmentation. Often the thread would be left in the skin for a few days, before being removed, ensuring that the tattoo would remain.

The Inuits of Greenland had a specific term for this tattoo method; “kakiomeq”, which means to be picked with a needle. All inuit tribes knew of the sewing methods, but each tribe had their own secret pigment recipes. Thus the method is a very sacred cultural treasure to the Inuit people.

Final Comment:

Today most Inuit tattoos are performed with a machine. But as we have shown in a previous article, their are still Inuit women, who perform and get traditional Inuit face tattoos, through the ancient method of sewing. It is important we keep these treasures of history alive, so we may learn from them and see how important tattoos are to cultures all over the world.

The method is sacred and kept very secret in today’s world. So there are no pictures we can or will show of it, out of respect to the Inuit people.

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About Author



Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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