Berber Tattooing: In Morocco’s Middle Atlas
Felix & Loretta Leu
Edited & Illustrated by Aia Leu
Berber Tattooing is a unique and tender record of the tribal skin art of Morocco’s Middle Atlas. The result of a series of chance encounters, Felix & Loretta’s Leu’s road trip in 1988, opened a doorway into the intimate world of the women of the Berber tribes. In this book, the women tell their individual stories, revealing the traditions of the tattoo in their culture, together with insights into the lives that they led.
Sensitively captured in drawings from the time, by Aia Leu, the faces of the Berber women speak of a tribal culture that was fast disappearing, even then. As tattoo artists themselves, Felix and Loretta were able to find a common ground with the Berber families, gaining unprecedented access into this sparsely documented Berber art form.
This book of previously unpublished work, collected nearly thirty years ago is a tribute, to the art of tattoo, to tradition, to family and to love.
Felix & Loretta Leu, both born in 1945, were artists, “freaks”, and adventurers. From 1965, when they met in New York City, until 1978, they travelled and lived in America, Europe, North Africa, India and Nepal, and in time were accompanied by four children, who were all born “on the road”. In 1978 they discovered tattooing as an art form, one with which they could support their family anywhere in the world. In 1981 they chose to settle in Switzerland where they created “The Leu Family’s Family Iron Tattoo Studio”. Felix died of cancer in 2002. Loretta, lives in Switzerland, walks in fields and forests with her two dogs, and is writing a history of her life with Felix.
Aia Leu works from her studio, she moved to Kenmare in Ireland in 1989 and lives near the town in the mountains. The daughter of Felix and Loretta Leu she was born in 1971, she studied figure sketching in Vevey, Switzerland as a teenager. Her paternal grandmother is the Swiss artist Eva Aeppli.
Aia’s work draws directly from her multicultural and bohemian upbringing. Her work is particularly influenced by both her years spent as a child in India, and the richness of the Irish landscape. Her work is in private collections worldwide, she has had solo shows and contributed to group shows internationally. Her work was on exhibit in the ‘Leu Family Art’ at the Museum Tinguely Basel in Switzerland in 2021. Paintings currently for sale by Aia Leu can be viewed here.
Publication 16 Nov 2017.
Edition 1st edition 500 copies 2017, 2nd reprint 2019, 3rd reprint 2020, 4th reprint 2023.
Content 144 pages
Size 246 x 189 mm x 14mm
Weight 545 gr
Illustrations 50 colour photographs, 37 pencil illustrations, 112 black and white drawings, 2 maps.
Retail Price € 42.00
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Very good service and special products for offer !
Very recommendable shop !
The book is very interesting due gaining knowlegde for berberculture from a perspective of an tattoo artist.
Cant believe seedpress actually had this title I had been searching out for years. Staff was knowledgeable, friendly, quick to answer emails – and book arrived earlier than expected in excellent protective packaging.
THANK YOU SEEDPRESS <3
Elly Lynn –
This is probably the most beautiful book I own! Even better than I imagined it. It’s worth every penny and full of beautiful tracings, drawings and photographs of the tattoos of the Berber and Amazigh tribes. Probably the most detailed account of traditional Berber tattoos out there. I couldn’t recommend it more ( it arrived in the post really quickly too!)
I bought this book as a gift for a Moroccan/Berber friend living abroad who maintains a keen interest in and tie to his Berber ancestry, Moroccan roots. He also loves tattoos and is interested in tattooing as an art form. He had looked everywhere (globally and online) for the book but it was unavailable (out of print and most places), so I was delighted with Seedpress’ “notify when back in print” service and the speed and care with which it was delivered (from one side of the world to another) once I placed my order.
A quick glance through the book when it arrived revealed high quality pages with stunningly beautiful photos and sketches, accompanied by rich text. I couldn’t pull my eyes away, wanted to read it then and there and wished I had bought an additional copy for myself!
My friend was blown away when he saw his grandmother and aunties reflected in the images and sketches of Berber women’s leg tattoos. That warmed my heart and made it the kind of gift that keeps on giving.
This would make a perfect gift or coffee table book for those in the market for that kind of thing, or anyone who has traveled to or longs to travel to Morocco, but the content is so culturally relevant, meaningful and important, that it would make a worthy and valuable addition to personal, public, private and academic libraries around the world for its art historic, sociological, and anthropological significance alone.
Linda M. –
TOP book ! very nice illustrated.
Lucas M. –