"A mark indelible": Herman Melville and the cross-cultural history of tattooing in the nineteenth century

Michael C Frank
This chapter investigates the figure of the facially tattooed white sailor in colonial literature from the time of the Spanish conquista to the nineteenth century, arguing that facial tattoos were regarded as breaking a taboo: a conspicious sign of alienation from Western society and its norms, they clearly identified those who bore them as "cultural defectors" who were literally marked by non-Western cultures.
doi:10.5167/uzh-172516 fatcat:sqdnzusbjzdkbkwh5pkpggguou