When Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda was exploring the future US coast in 1519, he encountered a strikingly unique culture in the Karankawa people around modern Galveston, Texas.
These American natives were taller than most others and were heavily decorated with tattoos, body jewelry and paint. It is believed that they migrated north from a location somewhere in the Caribbean Sea as early as the 17th century, which would explain their physical differences from other Native Americans.
The Karankawans are now completely extinct, dying off as a tribe around 1860. Their contribution to the body art world is notable, however, as we will explore next week!