North America's First Nations Tattoos
Mohave woman with tattoos and body paint
Algonquin Chief circa 1590
Tattoo markings of Mohawk (left) and Cree Indian males
In 1701, less than two generations after first contact, Charles Becard de
Granville, an official in New France, created this ink sketch. The caption
reads, "Captain of the Nation of the Illinois, armed with a pipe and a dart."
Granville's illustration is the earliest known image of the Inoca. (New York
While the permanent skin art would seem to cover much of the Captain's body, the
cosmetic devices of the face remain unresolved. Whether the patterns we see on
his face are tattoo or paint is not revealed by the black and white sketch.
Inoca in 1735. Their faint tattoos, can be observed on their chests, backs, and
Virginia and Florida