Project 48

Tupik Mi

Maya Sialuk Jacobsen and Holly Mititquq Nordlum

Artists Explore Identity Through the Rich Heritage of Traditional Tattooing

Tupik Mi is a collaboration between Greenlandic tattoo artist Maya Sialuk Jacobsen and Anchorage-based Iñupiaq artist Holly Mititquq Nordlum to explore the cultural significance of traditional tattooing in the Arctic.

Historically tattooing was common throughout the Arctic until western religion censured the practice. Now growing numbers of Indigenous people have begun to look back and learn the process of traditional tattooing as a method for connecting and reclaiming culture.

Drawing inspiration from the Anchorage Museum and Smithsonian collections, Jacobsen and Nordlum examined traditional tattoo designs and techniques. Through a series of workshops, they worked with artists and local youths to explore the heritage of tattooing by designing personalized temporary tattoos. Jacobsen also led demonstrations of traditional thread tattooing in order to teach the technique to local artists.

The museum's Urban Interventions series motivates and empowers youth through creative, healthy expression.