SKINDIGENOUS – New TV Show Explores Indigenous Tattooing Traditions

SKINDIGENOUS – New TV Show Explores Indigenous Tattooing Traditions

Montreal, January 30, 2018 – Nish Media debuts its brand new 13-episode series SKINDIGENOUS, which explores Indigenous tattooing traditions around the world, on Tuesday, February 20th at 7:30 p.m. ET on APTN HD and APTN E and at 7:30 p.m. MT on APTN W. The APTN N broadcast begins on Friday, February 23 at 5:00 p.m. CT.

The art of tattooing is much more than simply a method of decorating one’s body. At its origins among ancient cultures, tattooing was only practiced by those with special standing in the community. Today, modern-day tattoo artists use their art to re-connect with the heritage of their ancestors and to ensure that their stories are not lost. They do this by maintaining the traditions of their forebears and teaching a new generation about both the ancient and modern techniques they’ve learned.

SKINDIGENOUS takes us on a scintillating journey around the world, from the Philippines and Indonesia to Samoa, Hawaii, New Zealand and Mexico, by way of North America via British Columbia, Alberta, Toronto, Alaska and Newfoundland.

Each episode takes the viewer into the lives of the different practitioners and their unique culture to discover the tools and techniques, the symbols and traditions that shape their tattooing art. The art of tattooing is the lens for exploring some of the planet’s oldest perspectives on life, identity, and the natural world.

In Indonesia, a shaman named Aman Jepri gives an apprentice the markings that will complete his initiation into Mentawai shamanism. In Alberta, Amy Malbeuf practices the skin stitch technique with needle and thread; 100 year-old Philippine Wang Od Oggay and Samoan Peter Sulua’pe continue the traditions of their ancient customs; in BC, Alaska, Newfoundland, Toronto, Mexico, Hawaii and New Zealand, Dion Kaszas (BC), Nakkita Trimble (BC), Marjorie Tahbone (AL), Jordan Bennett (NL), Jay Soule (TO), Samuel Olman (MX), Keone Nunes (HI) and Gordon Toi (NZ) are reviving the forgotten art of their ancestors; and in Seattle, artist Nahaan sees tattoo as a political act and a form of resistance.

The accompanying Skindigenous app on the series website will give Indigenous tattoo artists from around the world a forum to record and view their tattoo art. This initiative marks a unique opportunity for a community to build around these artists.

The series was directed by Nish Media producer Jason Brennan and four other directors. Jason, a member of the First Nations community of Kitigan Zibi, has produced shows for APTN, CBC, Radio-Canada, Ici ArtTV, Canal D, TV5 and CBC Docs, including the sixth season of the Indigenous youth hockey show Hit The Ice. The series’ remaining directors are: Award-winning Mohawk filmmaker Sonia Bonspille Boileau (feature film Le Dep, Gémeaux-winning Last Call Indian, Yorkton Film Festival Golden Sheaf winner The Oka Legacy); award-winning film and television director, editor and cameraman Randy Kelly; filmmaker, content creator, director, author Jean-François Martel (the Gémeaux-nominated Radio-Canada documentary Véronique Dicaire : Grand V, La Fosse aux tigres) and Kim O’Bomsawin (La ligne rouge, APTN/Canal D’s Je ne veux pas mourir and the APTN series Motetan Mamo/Marchons Ensemble).

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

One Comment “SKINDIGENOUS – New TV Show Explores Indigenous Tattooing Traditions”

  • Avatar for Patrick Lucero

    Patrick Lucero


    This is a joke my native Heritage isn’t recognized by my Bloodline I’m 1/2 Jicarilla Apache from Dulce New Mexico I tried many times to get enrolled I’ve been shut down or laughed at behind the scenes what are they Afraid of
    The new Old Bloodline or to find out we are related

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