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Tattoos in Virginia & Florida

Early Virginian male tattoos

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In 1593, Captain John Smith wrote that the natives of Virginia and Florida had "their legs, hands, breasts and faces cunningly embroidered with diverse marks, such as beasts and serpents, artificially wrought into their flesh with black spots".

One of the best examples of North American tattooing was recorded in an oil painting of Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow, painted in 1710 by British artist John Verelst. Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow was one of four Mohawk chiefs who visited London in 1710, as part of a delegation that visited Queen Anne.

Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow, King of the Maquas, by John VerelstEarly Miami Chief with facial tattoosTattooed Indiam chief

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