'Tattoo Hunter' to Speak on What Tattoos Say About Being Human

Lars Krutak has traveled the world, talking with indigenous tribes about the meaning behind their tattoos.

Lars Krutak

Lars Krutak, a tattoo anthropologist and author of the books "The Tattooing Arts of Tribal Women" and "Tattooing Traditions of Native North America: Ancient and Contemporary Expressions of Identity," will speak about his work with indigenous tribes throughout the world 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 9) at the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium at the Museum of Texas Tech University.

Krutak has spent the last two decades traveling the world learning about unique tattoos and the meanings behind them. He has a special interest in preserving indigenous knowledge of tattooing. Through his publications and Discovery Channel series "Tattoo Hunter," Krutak has worked to reveal the cultural diversity of tattoos and the stories they represent. 

He has studied the diverse forms and symbolism of tattooing, such as to mark life achievements, assert tribal identity or for therapeutic or cosmetic purposes. Other tribes marked their bodies with magical symbols intended to promote fertility, attract prey or protect the person from malevolent spirits.

He will speak on the ancient traditions behind tattoos, discussing how tattooing exposed individual desires and fears, plus cultural and religious values. Krutak also will cover tattoo revivals across native North America.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 9)

WHERE: Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium, Museum of Texas Tech University, 3301 4th St. (west entrance)

For more events at the Museum of Texas Tech, visit its events page.

Museum of Texas Tech

The Museum of Texas Tech University, with its more than eight million objects, is one of the largest and most diverse university museums in the U.S.

The Museum has collections ranging from fine and decorative arts, natural science, clothing and textiles, history and anthropology and archaeology.

The Museum’s Natural Science Research Laboratory houses an internationally important collection of fauna and frozen tissue samples and has played a role in identifying major human health risks, such as Hanta Virus.

The Lubbock Lake Landmark, another division of the Museum, is one of the country’s most significant archaeological sites documenting continuous human habitation dating back 12,000 years.

The museum also is home to an academic program offering a master’s degree in Heritage and Museum Science.