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This Menominee tattooing tool dates to 1911 and consists of four sewing needles bound with cotton thread to a wood handle. The accompanying kit includes packages of charcoal for making ink, and a bent wood bowl for mixing and holding the ink.By the early 20th century Menominee tattooing was mainly therapeutic or medicinal. According to one source, those suffering from headaches would ask a healer to tattoo the image of a thunderbird at the source of their pain. The tattoo tools were said to have been given to the Menominee by the Thunderbirds, and were symbolic representations of the spears...

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The Kwapa (Cocopah) along the lower Colorado River basin are among the many Native American groups in the American Southwest and Mexico who once tattooed using thorns and spines from cacti and other native plant species. Those traditions were mostly suppressed and extinguished by the early 20th century as a result of Colonial and Christian influences.These mesquite spines were used by the Kwapa for tattooing around 1885, when they were collected for the Smithsonian. They would be tied in a bundle of 2 or 3 spines, and after the skin was pricked charcoal would be rubbed on the wounds. Kwapa...

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