Inuit Broadcasting Corporation

A window to the arctic

Tunniit (Traditional Tattoo)

Many Inuit mostly women are taking part in a revival of traditional Inuit tattoos. Traditionally, Inuit women, mostly in their teenage years received symbolic designs on their face and arms and sometimes on their legs as an expression of beauty. The tools used were made of caribou bone for stitching and poking. Stitching would be done with a bone needle and the thread made of sinew from the back of a caribou muscle soaked in natural ink such as soot of a burning traditional seal oil lamp. The needle would be used again when the tattoo was finished the needle would be stored in a seal skin cover with seal fat to protect it from getting dirty.


Duration: 22:00

Series: Uakallanga

Channel: Inuit Broadcasting Corporation

Tags: Inuit IBC Canadian Arctic Traditional Knowledge Inuit Broadcasting Corporation History Culture Inuk Nunavut tunniit tattoos Inuit woman