As of this evening the project to support Tribal Markings is now live! I must now find my center and focus on that for a few moments. Then I can panic more efficiently. See how that works?

How can you support Tribal Markings? Go to and sign up as a backer with rewards ranging from "our unending love and gratitude", a copy of the finished book, prints, and even acknowledgment on the printed page. There is a good deal of money to raise for this project and a limited amount of time to do it.

Why this project?
Tribal Markings is a photo project and book, show casing belly dancers and their backgrounds while exploring the relationship they have with their tattoos. I want to meet with at least 100 or more belly dancers from across the country, from all walks of life and dance styles, to find the commonalities of experience and the unique perspectives that each provides. The end result will be a book filled with the wild beauty and touching stories from the women of the dance.

Belly dancers decorate their bodies not only with costumes and jewelry, but also with ink. Each adornment is a piece of history; a story to be told and a gem of art.

"She created the fan so I was always kind of hidden behind it and it became a protection for me. With that, it allowed for me to go ahead wear a belly dance costume that exposed the area that was, in my mind, the least pleasant to be seen." -- Nancy "Icy" Brown

Each belly dancer is interviewed and engaged in the conversation of their tattoos and the journey they are on. Questions asked and stories told become quotations in the margins. Anecdotes get fleshed out.

Why $15,000 and how will the money be used?
When I posted a call for dancers for this project to a local Yahoo! Group for the belly dancing community, something I didn't expect to happen occurred. The e-mail was forwarded to people outside of the Puget Sound and there was interest. I posted the call to a couple other forums to see what the response would be. The response was incredible. The project resonated for belly dancers with backgrounds in tribal, cabaret, folkloric, and more from one end of the continent to the other. Travelling to these cities and renting space for taking the photographs will cost from $600 to almost $1000 with air fare being the biggest cost. Money will also be used to for production and design costs around the book and other costs around the shoots themselves.

Why back Tribal Markings?

  • You want to learn about these very real people and connect with them.
  • You want to see pretty pictures of beautiful works of art on amazing people.
  • Be a part of the project from the ground up.
  • You want to receive cool rewards.
  • Because strong women should be showcased more often than they are.