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  2. The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman by Margot Mifflin
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Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. March 29, - Published on Amazon. Verified Purchase.


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I happened on the cover picture in a blog recently, and like many people, immediately thought "Hey, that's the tattoo from Hell on Wheels". Apparently the character's tattooing in that series was borrowed explicitly from Olive Oatman's. It's ironic that the TV character was a prostitute, as the Oatman's history as a captive of the Yavapai and Mohave raised questions about her sexuality in her own time.

Olive Oatman was a year-old member of a Mormon splinter group. Her family was killed by Yavapai en route between Tucson and Yuma in , and she and her younger sister were first enslaved by the Yavapai, then sold to the Mohave.

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The Mohave raised them as members of the tribe; her sister died, but Olive was returned to white society after five years with the two Indian tribes. The author has practiced source criticism on the various accounts of Oatman's life, discounting distortions introduced to serve various political and social biases. The resulting narrative is a fascinatingly ambiguous story. Was Olive better off as an Indian or white woman? It's hard to tell, but clearly she had warm feelings for her former "captors" when she met one of them in later life.

The sexual, social, and racial norms of the time are called into question by the story of her life. As history goes, the book is an easy and compelling read -- I finished it in a couple of days. It's a thought-provoking contribution to the literature of white captives of American Indians.

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February 13, - Published on Amazon. While the book was good and was very interesting to read, the printing company made a big mistake and put a 40 page section into the book upside down, which made it a little hard to read. Since this is a printing problem, I am cautious of ordering another copy, afraid that it will be the same way. February 28, - Published on Amazon. Great book, very insightful.


  • The Beginning of Sorrow.
  • The Girl with the Blue Tattoo.
  • Escape 2 Earth 2012.
  • The author makes it feel like you are there living with Olive, for once you begin reading, you are lost in another time. For those that love biographies, this book, by this particular author, is a must.

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    The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman by Margot Mifflin

    If you wish to have insight on life as a girl in these times, yet also the insight on the ways of a few of the tribes in history, this book will give you a mix of both worlds. At first you are upset with what happened to her, but then you realize that there is beauty and tragedy within each circumstance. Olive Oatman, a face of history Being a lady back then was hard in certain ways already, as life for any was, however to be in her shoes where you would be torn from one world, and thrown into another As I said February 6, - Published on Amazon.

    I'm going to go ahead and rate this now, though I'm only about half way through the book. I've found it very engaging and hard to put down. What a story! As should be, there's not only a story of personal triumph and tragedy, but an in-depth history lesson on Native American cultures, and about the westward expansion of America.

    I can't wait to find out what happens to Olive Oatman! Brenda K. John Clayton.

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    Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Description In 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. The Blue Tattoo 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 from her childhood in Illinois-including the massacre, her captivity, and her return to white society-to her later years as a wealthy banker's wife in Texas. Oatman's story has since become legend, inspiring artworks, fiction, film, radio plays, and even an episode of Death Valley Days starring Ronald Reagan. Its themes, from the perils of religious utopianism to the permeable border between civilization and savagery, are deeply rooted in the American psyche.

    Oatman's blue tattoo was a cultural symbol that evoked both the imprint of her Mohave past and the lingering scars of westward expansion. It also served as a reminder of her deepest secret, fully explored here for the first time: she never wanted to go home. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Other books in this series.

    The Blue Tattoo Margot Mifflin. Add to basket. Flowers in the Snow Gwyneth Hoyle.


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