Indian Boarding School Tattoos among Female American Indian Students (1960s -1970s): Phoenix Indian School, Santa Rosa Boarding School, Fort Wingate Boarding School
AuthorDawley, Martina Michelle
KeywordsBoarding School Tattoos
Federal Boarding School
Indian Boarding School
Stick and Poke Tattoos
Committee ChairLomawaima, K. Tsianina
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTattooing in the federal Indian boarding school system appears to have been common among the student body, but the practice is not well documented. A search of the literature on Native education, focusing on boarding schools, yielded only fragments of references to tattooing because there has been no substantive or detailed research on Indian boarding school tattoos. One brief narrative from Celia Haig-Brown (1988), however, illustrates the commonality and the dangers of tattooing. This study examines tattoos among female students who attended Indian boarding schools in the Southwest during the 1960s-1970s. The personal accounts of my mother's experience in tattooing at the Phoenix Indian School provide a baseline for this study. My study explores an undocumented area of boarding school history and student experiences. Many students from various tribes tattooed. The tattoos most often included small initials and markings, and my analysis concludes that the meanings were mostly related to resistance.
Degree ProgramAmerican Indian Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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