The Blue Tattoo

The Blue Tattoo

The Life of Olive Oatman

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In 1851 Olive Oatman was a thirteen-year old pioneer traveling west toward Zion with her Mormon family; within a decade, she was a white Indian with a chin tattoo, caught between cultures. Mifflin tells the harrowing story of this forgotten heroine of frontier America: orphaned when her family was brutally killed by Yavapai Indians, Oatman lived as a slave to her captors for a year before being traded to the Mohave, who tattooed her face and raised her as their own. She was fully assimilated and perfectly happy when, at nineteen, she was ransomed back to white society. She became an instant celebrity, but the price of fame was high and the pain of her ruptured childhood lasted a lifetime. Based on historical records, including letters and diaries of Oatman's friends and relatives, The Blue Tattoo is the first book to examine her life.
Publisher: ** E-Book // Click on DOWNLOAD link to place holds
ISBN: 9780803254350
Branch Call Number: EBOOK TEXT
Alternative Title: OverDrive


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Mar 07, 2019

A significant part of American history is the hopeful journey that so many settlers embarked on in the mid-1800s, headed west buoyed by the promise of such things as free land, gold, and visions of personal religious utopias. Never mind that this "free" land had long been populated by native tribes, who were understandably not too pleased to see these strange people coming to their lands and taking their resources. Olive Oatman and her family came west as part of a larger group headed west in 1851, bound for the promise of California. Faced with a series of misfortunes, eventually the Oatman family ended up on their own, only to be brutally massacred by members of the Yavapai tribe. Only 14, Olive and her younger sister were taken captive, eventually traded to the Mohaves, where they were essentially assimilated into the tribe. Five years later, her sister now deceased, Olive is "rescued," now facing the challenge of assimilating back into white culture as profiteers seek to benefit from her story. Well-researched, this work attempts to get to the truth of Olive's story while painting a fascinating picture of Native and American cultures of the time, and the power of manipulating story.

Jun 20, 2017

I think this author has shown every which way Olive Oatman could have felt during each of the radical changes of circumstances in her life in a way that seems almost impossible to know. He also gave, in vivid detail, how each of the tribes differ, humanizes them and lets us know they would feel and treat their captives.
To think that this was only around 150 years ago and look at the changes in this country makes it just absolutely amazing. The fact that we have lost the respect for nature and spiritual aspect of these cultures is our loss.

JCLEmilyD Mar 29, 2017

This is a very fascinating story of Olive Oatman who's family was massacred on their way west during the gold rush. Olive and her sister are spared death but remain captives to a local Indian tribe, they are later traded to a different tribe where Olive (her sister died during this time) remained nearly five years. The author works very hard to stream together that correct facts about Olive's life, a difficult task due to vast number of conflicting accounts. A fascinating and rather quick read for a biography.

Aug 10, 2015

Worth the read. Interesting book.


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