future

SKINDIGENOUS
Prince Ruppert – Nakkita Trimble

 

Nakkita Trimble is the only tattoo artist from the Nisga’a Nation. Along with elders from her community, she hopes to revive the traditional process of tattooing known as gihlee’e. Ts’iksna’aḵs—the tattoos—were usually composed of crests, known as ayukws, and of adaawaḵs, which are stories, legends and history. She plans to teach someone else the art of the Nisga’a tattoing so that more people can reconnect with this ancient practice.

 

 

 

SKINDIGENOUS
Mexico – Samuel Olman

 

The ancient city of Palenque was once a hub of Mayan civilization. For centuries after its decline, it lay hidden under layers of tropical vegetation, until modern archaeologists peeled back the jungle to reveal it to the world in the last century. Today, Palenque is both an cultural centre and a sacred site. It was here that Indigenous artist Samuel Olman chose to set up his traditional Mayan tattoo practice. Living in the heart of the jungle near the ancient ruins, Samuel heads up the Olman Project, which aims to revive the art, knowledge and wisdom of Mesoamerican tattooing, while adapting it to the modern world.

 

 

 

SKINDIGENOUS
Toronto – Jay Soule

 

Jay Soule is a multidisciplinary artist known as “Chippewar” in the Indigenous community. His internationally-recognized work expresses much of the angst of today’s Indigenous population in Canada. Adopted at five years of age, Jay was taken from his birth mother and grew up outside his home community. He is considered part of the “Sixties Scoop,” a period in which Indigenous children were removed from their families and assimilated into non-Indigenous households. As a teenager, Jay left his home and opted for a life on the street. For a few years, he lived among the street kids of Toronto, eventually finding refuge in one of the city’s Indigenous shelters.

 

 

 

SKINDIGENOUS
New Zealand – Gordon Toi

 

In the twentieth century, the Maori of New Zealand all but lost their tattooing tradition. Only the women who continued to sport the traditional chin design ensured that the art did not disappear completely. Today, a tattoo renaissance is underway, and artist Gordon Toi plays a key role in the process. Using modern machines to weave ancient patterns reflecting the powers of the natural world, Gordon has made it his life’s quest to ensure that the art of ta moko can continue to flourish in the twenty-first century and beyond. His studio House of Natives is more than a tattoo shop—it is a cultural institution and a place where one feels the presence of the sacred.

 

 

 

SKINDIGENOUS
Alaska – Marjorie Tahbone

 

Marjorie Tahbone, an Alaskan artist of Inupiaq heritage, was first among the living women of her family to get her traditional chin tattoo. Because no one was practicing the tattooing art at the time, she had to get her markings from a non-Indigenous artist in Fairbanks. Significant as the experience was, it ignited in Marjorie a desire to revive the practice for her community. Following this desire, she took up the tools and the old methods and became a full-fledged traditional tattooist working in the Inupiaq tradition. Thanks to Marjorie and other culture bearers across the North, the tradition of inking women’s skin to mark major life events and to symbolize spiritual beliefs is once again a part of Indigenous life in the region.

 

 

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI
Ala Wai Flood Control Project

 

Plans to prevent massive flooding in Waikīkī have been in the works for years, as worries mount over the threat of a major storm causing the Ala Wai Canal to overflow. Drawn up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Ala Wai Flood Control Project would take private residential land along the canal for flood mitigation. Property owners object and say there wasn’t enough opportunity for public input. What do you think?

 

Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

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Visit the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook page.

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 

 

 

 


SKINDIGENOUS
Samoa – Peter Suluaʻpe

 

Western Samoa is one of the few places on the planet where traditional tattooing continued unimpeded through the colonial era. Sua Peter Suluaʻpe is a contemporary master of the craft. With his father and brothers, he works out of a cultural village in the heart of Apia, the Samoan capital. The Suluaʻpes are one of only two Samoan families who are authorized by tradition to create tattoos in accordance with ancient custom. Embracing their role, they carry on a sacred practice whose origins lie in legend, and which continues to shape the character of Samoa today.

 

SKINDIGENOUS - Samoa: Peter Suluʻape

 

 

 

SKINDIGENOUS
Seattle – Nahaan

 

Seattle-born artist Nahaan sees tattoo, like many other forms of artistic expression, as a political act and a form of resistance. This artist of mixed First Nations heritage draws on traditional teachings to create new work using modern and traditional methods alike. Born and raised in an urban environment, Nahaan uses the city as a platform for upholding and revivifying cultural practices that colonization once threatened to wipe out. Drawing on the symbology and aesthetics of the Indigenous West Coast, his tattoo work becomes “permanent regalia” on the bodies he works on, expressing through image and symbol the deepest beliefs of his ancestors and the forces that give life to his people and the land.

 

SKINDIGENOUS - Seattle: Nahaan

 

 

 

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