Lars Krutak: Prayers for Protection and Empowerment: Magical Tattooing across the Indigenous World

Culture and languages

During this sixth lecture in the ZADAN lecture series "Hopes and Protections on the Body" Lars Krutak (PhD) will talk about amuletic tattoos across the indigenous world.

8 Mar 2022
16:00 - 17:15
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HDK-Valand, in collaboration with Four Gallery, IASPIS, Göteborgs Slöjdförening

For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples across the globe have practiced various forms of tattooing to please or seek protection from particular spirits or ancestors who inhabited their worlds.

In this virtual lecture, I explore the cross-cultural use of amuletic, “guardian,” yantra, and other magical tattoos as religious and practical tools that were utilized to enhance human well-being and access to supernatural power. Based on ethnographic data and fieldwork among numerous tattooing societies, I will discuss how this complex of personal power and belief allowed individuals to transcend their human, natural, and otherworldly realms of everyday existence.

About Lars Krutak

Lars Krutak PhD is an American anthropologist, photographer, curator, and writer known for his research about Indigenous tattoo and its cultural background. He hosted and produced the 10-part documentary series Tattoo Hunter on the Discovery Channel and is a Research Associate at the Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA).

Krutak is the author of more than 90 articles for scientific journals and popular magazines on the subject of tattooing. His books include Tattoo Traditions of Native North America (2014), Magical Tattoos and Scarification (2012), Kalinga Tattoo focusing on Indigenous tattooing culture in the northern Philippines (2010), and The Tattooing Arts of Tribal Women (2007). Krutak also served as the senior editor for Ancient Ink: The Archeology of Tattooing (2018), the first book dedicated to the archaeological study of tattooing.

Further reading

Research Associate, Museum of International Folk Art (USA)
Lars Krutak PhD: