A section on tatooing from James Adair’s History of the American Indians.

A couple of versions are available online:

“Those captives who are pretty far advanced in life, as well as in war-gradations, always atone for the blood they spilt, by the tortures of fire. — They readily know the latter, by the blue marks over their breasts and arms; they being as legible as our alphabetical characters are to us. Their ink is made of the soot of pitch-pine, which sticks to the inside of a greased earthen pot; then delineating the parts, like the ancient Picts of Britain, with their wild hieroglyphics, they break through the skin with gair-fish-teeth, and rub over them that dark composition, to register them among the brave; and the impression is lasting. I have been told by the Chikkasah, that they formerly erased any false marks their warriors proudly and privately gave themselves — in order to engage them to give real proofs of their martial virtue, being surrounded by the French and their red allies; and that they degraded them in a public manner, by stretching the marked parts, and rubbing them with the juice of green corn, which in a great degree took out the impression.” (Page 389)

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