Olive Oatman

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Olive Oatman
Birth Date 1837
Birth Place Illinois
Death Date March 20, 1903
Occupation unknown
Website none

Olive Oatman was the first white woman to be tattooed in America.


Olive Oatman was born in 1837 in Illinois. In 1851 her family was killed by Native Americans while on a trip heading west. She and her sister were captured. After a year, they were traded to another tribe for two horses, vegetables and blankets. They were adopted by this tribe, who was much kinder to the girls and they were both given traditional chin tattoos. During a drought, her sister died of starvation. After 5 years, she returned to living with the white people at the request of local authorities.

She died March 20, 1903 from a heart attack.

Oatman, Arizona is named in her honor.


A Secret History of Women and Tattoos

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