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Native Lens: KAKIÑIIT


Native Lens


My concept for the film KAKIÑIIT was to combine the Inupiaq hand poke tattooing practice with my own ceremonial aspect. There is a significant focus on womanhood because traditionally it would be seamstresses who would be doing the tattooing. You cannot get this type of tattoo on impulse, you need to have a reason to get a tattoo. Oftentimes the person would get this form of tattoo to mark a significant moment in their lives. Traditionally the Inupiaq seamstress doing this tattoo practice would know the family of the person requesting the tattoo. The tattooist would know the family and create her own design based on what she thinks represents that family honorably. An example would be if your family was known for making kayaks then there would be symbolism of that incorporated in the design somehow. 

I just wanted to share this practice and keep it alive by sharing information with others and allowing room for error. I added some important steps to this tattooing practice. The most important thing I added was lighting the Qulliq (hand-carved lamp) in the beginning. I do that because I want to honor the ancestors that are here with us today; It is very important to honor our ancestors. If your ancestors have seen your work today, what would they be proud of? I would hope I brought honor to mine by collaborating and creating this video. Watch KAKIÑIIT and form your own opinion.

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