User:Eino81/Lars Krutak

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Lars Krutak
Lars Krutak 01.jpg
Lars Krutak with Gru, a heavily scarified Hamar man of southern Ethiopia.
Born 14 April 1971
Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Nationality American
Known for tattoo anthropology
Scientific career
Fields anthropology

Dr. Lars Krutak (Lincoln, Nebraska 14 April 1971) is an American anthropologist, photographer, and writer known for his research about tattoo and its cultural background. He produced and hosted the 10-part documentary series Tattoo Hunter on the Discovery Channel which traveled the indigenous world to showcase vanishing art forms of body modification.[1][2] Today, he works in the Repatriation Office of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Krutak was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to a traveling geologist and university professor who moved the family to Mexico City in 1979 and then to a series of states including Louisiana, Texas, and eventually Colorado where Lars grew up in the small mountain town atmosphere of Rye, Colorado. Krutak attended the University of Colorado at Boulder studying art history and anthropology and upon graduation (1993) he moved to San Francisco to work as an art gallery preparator for Paul Thiebaud, the son of American Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud. In 1996, Krutak attended graduate school at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks where his thesis One Stitch at a Time: Ivalu and Sivuqaq Tattoo focused on the tattooing traditions of the St. Lawrence Island Yupik people. [4]

Krutak briefly attended Cambridge University as a Ph.D. student in 1998 but he returned stateside to work at the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution) where he worked as a Repatriation Research Specialist (between 1999-2002) facilitating the return of sacred and ceremonial objects and human remains to indigenous peoples throughout North America and Mexico. Between 1998 and 2003 he also worked for the OSCE as a Democratization Analyst in several countries of the former Yugoslavia monitoring electoral reforms.[4]

Since 2002, Krutak served as an Anthropological Consultant for three National Geographic Channel productions and was a co-recipient of the 2003 American Book Award [5] in Literature for Akuzilleput Igaqullghet, Our Words Put to Paper Sourcebook in St. Lawrence Island Yupik Heritage and History. His Ph.D. studies at Arizona State University (2005-2009) focused on the socioeconomic impacts of tourism on the Rarámuri people of Mexico’s Copper Canyon region.[6]

Lars Krutak is married to Heidi Rauch the founder of Belabumbum. [7] and has one daughter, Neena.


Published in 2007, Krutak’s The Tattooing Arts of Tribal Women (ISBN 9781898948759) was the first book to focus on the tattooing artistry of indigenous women worldwide.[8] It is based on one decade of field and archival research.

In August 2010, Krutak will release a new coffee table book with Edition Reuss on the ancient art of Kalinga tattooing in the Philippines.[9] Co-authored with tattooed Kalinga elder Ms. Natividad Sugguiyao, this book will be the first volume to focus on the indelible arts of these Cordilleran people.

In his continued effort to understand how tattoos and other forms of body modification "make" the people who wear them, Krutak has acquired many traditional tattoos including hand-tapped work from the Iban of Borneo, Kalinga of the Philippines, Mentawai of Indonesia; hand-poked art from Theravada Buddhist monks in Thailand; and hand-pricked designs from the Kayabi of the Brazilian Amazon.[10] He also wears approximately one thousand razor and knife-cut scars across his body received from other groups like the Kaningara of Papua New Guinea, Bétamaribé of Benin, the Hamar of Ethiopia, and the Makonde [hotlink:] of Mozambique.

Krutak's tattoo research is regularly published internationally in magazines TätowierMagazin (Germany), Skin Deep (UK) and Skin & Ink Magazine (USA).[11]


External links[edit]