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Maya Sialuk Jacobsen


From Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland, currently residing in Svendborg, Denmark, Maya Sialuk is a traditional Inuit tattoo artist, private researcher in Inuit’s intangible culture and religion, teacher and lecturer and has over 20 years of experience in the tattoo profession. In 2010 she founded the tattoo and research project Inuit Tattoo Traditions. Inuit Tattoo Traditions covers the Inuit territories in Greenland, Canada and Alaska, in collaboration with Anchorage Museum, The Polar Lab, Maya Sialuk has trained four women (Inupiaq and Yupik) in Inuit tattooing and pattern understanding. Research and the work on cultural preservation take up much of Maya Sialuk’s everyday life. The collaboration with Nunatta Katersugaasivia (Greenland National Museum) has great value in this work. To raise awareness of the hygiene and security of indigenous tattooing on the North American continent, Maya Sialuk writes articles and participates in panel discussions on the topic. She also participates in a dialogue with the authorities in Denmark regarding legislation on tattooing and the freedom to show cultural affiliation in Denmark, where facial tattoos are prohibited by law. Maya Sialuk has represented the Health Committee on Christiansborg on various occasions and has presented the request for an exemption for Inuit in Denmark. Maya Sialuk is currently writing a reference book based on her research that has been going on for a decade. A book that gathers the patterns and their meaning and at the same time places the tattoos in Inuit’s world of life and shows the intention behind them.

Updatet Dec. 2020