This post has nothing to do with Indigenous Tattooing but everything to do with Modern Tattooing, when I seen it I had to post it. I have begun to realize the other day that to deny that portion of me that is not at all Indigenous, the portion that comes from being brought up in an Indigenous diaspora, predominately in an urban environment is deny part of who I am. Just as George Nuku said the ancient and the modern have to merge otherwise we do not have current reality (my paraphrase).
I am reminded of a story that Richard Armstrong a Syilx elder told me in one of my language classes, about his uncle I believe telling him to go out and bath in a stream every morning. As a small child he could not understand this, so his uncle told him to not worry about the reason and just observe what was going on. One day he heard this horrible noise coming from a bird, it sounded like a mixture of tunes pieced together that amounted to a horrible noise. His uncle told that this bird did exactly that stole the songs of other birds and tried to piece them together, with this horrendous result. His uncle told him to make sure he never becomes like this bird, to always search and find his own song, and not try to copy the songs of others. Essentially to strive to become his own person.
For me this means to make sure I integrate all parts of my personality, my life’s story, and my cultures into the creation that is me and never to deny any part of it.
Anyways here is “Stupid Tattoos” by the Cold Warps, enjoy.