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tattooing-instrument

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Oc1921,0221.29

  • Description

    Tattooing tool made of wood and human bone. Cylindrical piece of wood with segment of 3cm cut away at base. Flat bone head with serrated edge inserted into small horizontal incision at other end on opposite side.

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 19thC(late)-20thC(early) (before 1921)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 19 centimetres
    • Width: 4 centimetres
    • Diameter: 1.1 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    1921 British Museum register:
    29. do [Wood & bone tattooing tool], similar to 28.

    28.29.
    "Kai-n-taitai" Tattooing tools. Heads generally made of ancestor's bone.
    [Design drawn on skin with charcoal, & teeth dipped in dye before puncturing. Design is gone over 3 times. Dye is made of soot (or charcoal of young coconut shell) mixed with juice of Merinda Citrafolia. If any dye remains over, it is used to tattoo wrist or forearm of mother or other near female relations.

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  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    1983–1986 16 Dec-29 Jun, London, BM, Museum of Mankind, Pattern of islands: Micronesia yesterday and today

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1921

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Oc1921,0221.29

  • Additional IDs

    • Oc1982Q1.580
Tattooing tool made of wood and human bone. Cylindrical piece of wood with segment of 3cm cut away at base.  Flat bone head with serrated edge inserted into small horizontal incision at other end on opposite side.

Side: right

Image description

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Object reference number: EOC15141

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