The Cultural Heritage of Tattooing | Lars Krutak

For nearly twenty years, anthropologist and photographer Lars Krutak has been on a mission to document the vanishing world of Indigenous tattooing culture. His research explores these ancient human traditions, revealing how this language of the skin exposed individual desires and fears as well as cultural values and ancestral ties that were written the body.

Lars Krutak is a tattoo anthropologist, author and television host who has spent the last two decades traveling the world, learning about unique tattoos and the meanings behind them.  Lars has a special interest in preserving Indigenous knowledge of tattooing, as this ancient culture has begun to vanish quickly around the globe. Having published several books on the subject, and hosting a Discovery Channel series, entitled “Tattoo Hunter”, Lars has worked to reveal the cultural diversity of tattoos, the biographies they represent and what they say about being human. Lars’ latest project is a recently published book highlighting the Indigenous tattoo history of the North American continent.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at