Olive Oatman the Tattooed Girl
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 213 , Segment 1
Episode: Olive Oatman the Tattooed Girl, Personal Memoir Writing
- Jan 15, 2016 10:00 pm
- 48:57 mins
Guest: Margot Mifflin, Professor of English at the City University of New York At the age of 14 Olive Oatman was captured and enslaved by Native Americans, then sold to a friendlier tribe who tattooed her chin with distinctive blue hash marks and raised her as one of their own. Four years later, Olive was delivered back to the whites in exchange for horses, blankets and beads. She became a national sensation. People flocked to read her autobiography and gawk at her on the lecture circuit. But Olive Oatman could never really be white again, says author Margot Mifflin. In her book, “The Blue Tattoo,” Mifflin deciphers fact from fiction and explores what Olive’s story teaches us about race and identity in America.