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Lars Krutak, the tattoo anthropologist

<p>This ain't your ordinary tattoo parlor</p>
| Jan 14, 2010
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Last week we presented you a preview of Discovery Channel's Tattoo Hunter, which is basically about this man, Lars Krutak, who goes to all these different tribes to learn all about the unique tattoos of each tribal community. [firstpara] One episode is about the last living tattoo artist of Kalinga, which will be shown on January 18, 11 PM on the Discovery Channel. The show, which is about one of our very own tribes, catches our attention of course.

And so in an e-mail interview, we caught up with Lars Krutak, and askedim all these important questions, chief of which, of course, is if women with tattoos turned him on.

What does it feel like to immerse oneself in a tribe?

You are always a stranger when you arrive, no matter if the people already know you are coming. You have to be patient and humble, and also open to learning whatever you can because you never know what lesson you are being taught may help you later.

You also have to expect that you are going to fail at many tasks that are given to you because, for example, how many people pound their rice in the United States to separate the husk from the fruit like the Kalinga do? I certainly have no experience doing things like this and I am still terrible at it!

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Also, I have never plowed a rice paddy with a carabao, or hunted wild deer in the Cordillera with spears, but if you are genuinely interested and are ing to learn new things, this really helps break down the cultural barriers and people begin to accept you more and more each day.

I have certainly encountered some opposition on occasion, but these instances usually manifest themselves in the beginning of a trip. But after participating in the host culture for a couple of weeks and never giving up at my assigned tasks, I usually make new friends fairly quickly which certainly helps give you confidence that you may have succeeded in gaining the people's trust.


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