In 2019, Backbeat – an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield – published TATTOO FAQ by “author” Holly Day (note: after reading her bio I only wonder how many other people she has ripped off over her 30-year-career?). If this was meant to be “Tattoo for Dummies,” it certainly succeeded in a big way. Read the less-than-stellar reviews from Amazon readers:

I firmly agree there really is no original “research” here. And it would be far better to support the authors who conduct actual tattoo research in the field/archive, rather than lapping-up crap from the armchair surfing Wikimedia Commons and the Web for your content. And to think she believes Native North American tattoo history is “forgotten” is ridiculous! It’s a living tradition with revivals happening everywhere (see Krutak 2014, etc.). OH, but she apparently didn’t read that book!

What irks me to the extreme is that Ms. Day lifted content verbatim from my copyrighted works on Arctic tattooing traditions (Krutak 2000, Krutak 2007 see also my website article) without citations or permission. DO YOU THINK NO ONE WOULD NOTICE!? The remainder of Ms. Day’s “work” in this section “lightly paraphrases” my research, and once again no credit is provided. Please review the highlighted sections of “her research” vs. mine for some very clear examples of direct plagiarism (the paraphrasing is also clear but not highlighted):

And here is my work. Notice similar sentence construction?

And let’s pick up with my reference to Gilder’s work (see highlight above), which is copied verbatim by Ms. Day below (“A typical nineteenth-century account…”)…Let me also add a couple of inset comments in RED on Ms. Day’s text pages – HILARIOUS attributions and obviously she has NO CLUE WHAT SHE IS WRITING ABOUT!

I think a pattern is emerging here, and here is more evidence – Ms. Day vs. Lars Krutak:

** “A pair of Eskimo men from an unidentified tribal group” with Japanese body suits! WTF!?

Rowman & Littlefield proclaims its titles are “Known for their depth, spirit, and authority,” but this book isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on…so they may want to amend their proclamation. The subtitle “All That’s Left to Know About Skin Art” is laughable, because the only thing I learned is that this book STINKS and the author is a LAZY-ASS usurper of other people’s hard work! In sum, if I need wiping paper I know where to find some…although I would NEVER buy this “book.”

**Thanks to friend and fellow tattoo scholar Amelia Osterud for bringing this book – and it’s many problems – to my attention!


Krutak, Lars. 2014. Tattoo Traditions of Native North America: Ancient and Contemporary Expressions of Identity. Arnhem: LM Publishers. Distributed by University of Washington Press.

Krutak, Lars. 2007. The Tattooing Arts of Tribal Women. London: Bennett & Bloom.

Krutak, Lars. 2000. “The Arctic.” Pp. 172-185 in Tattoo History: A Source Book (Steve Gilbert, ed.). New York: Juno Books.