Dean Schubert's Yapese Tattoo Adventure
11:23 AM
yap tattoo.jpg
Dapoy: last known Yapese to wear the full body tattoo.

I want to start the week off by sharing this great post by Dean Schubert on his experience tattooing on Yap Island, Micronesia. Dean -- whose Visual Tattoo is the longest standing shop in Humboldt County, CA -- took some time off from the studio to travel to Yap with his wife Britanny and explore the island. There, he had the honor of tattooing a traditional Yapese backpiece on Leo Pugram, owner of Yap's only professional tattoo studio.

Here's a bit of that experience:

With nearly twenty four hours of air travel and lay-overs, we made our way from Arcata, California to Colonia Yap. The majority of our stay was at O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn. Which made for a most pleasant stay. The owner of O'Keefe's, Don Evans, is a long time friend of Leo Pugram, and it was Don who informed Leo of Yap's traditional tattoo history. The last person to wear the tattoo on Yap passed away in the 1970s. With the practice suspended through discouragement by early western visitors and the eventual ban during the Japanese occupation from the 1920's-1940's, the art was mostly forgotten and unknown to some of the youth today.
We tattooed many back-to-back days with a couple of breather days in between. I believe it was 9 days total. I didn't write it down. With constant high 80s and humidity, the days melted together. It was so much tattoo at once and I really admire Leo's dedication to the project, it was a lot to take. We made it and celebrated in the village of Maki on the Dance Platform where traditionally the tattooed of the island would present their tattoos to others.
Head to Dean's site for more of his story and photos.

yap tattoo by Dean Shubert.jpgYap tattoo on Leo Pugram by Dean Schubert.

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