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Bess Press

Tattooing in the Marshall Islands

Tattooing in the Marshall Islands

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Tattooing in the Marshall Islands is the first scholarly compilation about the history, progression, and demise of the traditionally intricate practice of Marshallese tattooing. This work richly documents the precise approach of tattooing as an art and describes its incredible ornamental and elaborate execution.

Along with visual examples, the text portrays the conventional, social, and relevant cultural context in which tattooing needs to be seen. Specific attention is dedicated to defining why art is placed on specific parts of the body.


Dirk H.R. Spennemann is an Associate Professor of Cultural Heritage Management in the School of Environmental Sciences at Charles Sturt University in Albury, Australia. He is a recognized Historic Preservation Specialist working as an archeologist and historian focused on the cultural perpetuation of Pacific Island groups. Dr. Spennemann is a recipient of the Governor’s Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Publication from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. He recently received the Partnership Stewardship Award for Cultural Resources from the U.S. National Park Service, Pacific West Region.


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