Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Polynesian tattoos... A tribal artform

I so love the graphics, the artistry of these tattoos, I thought I would share this previously published post with you again.  Get inked!

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I fell in love with Polynesian tattoos.  Several times, I stopped the wearer to discuss their point of origin, and their meanings.  The response was always a 'spiritual' one.  Most referenced their connection to the earth, family, the sea.  And of course, heritage.

Many would not not allow me to photograph them, out of respect for the gods.  I understood.  However I returned home still aching to see more of them.  I am thrilled to have found several on Maori's Polynesian Tattoo site.  They are a true art and 'arm form'.  Though you will find they adorn calves anc backs as well.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do...

The Rock’s large tattoo above is a traditional Samoan tattoo, done by an artist in Hawaii. It incorporates traditional tribal patterns and symbols representing Johnson’s life history, his family and their spirit guides. This extensive half sleeve wraps all the way around the upper arm, over the shoulder and onto the chest. It was at a later stage that he had the tattoo design
extended forward, adding a warrior visage over his heart.

Traditionally, Samoan tattooing is done by an artist attended by several assistants who handle the tools, hold the person down and stretch the skin
taut. The tools were a bone-tipped rake and a striking stick. The rake would be dipped in ink, placed over the skin then struck with the other tool to puncture the skin.

Johnson has never said whether his tattoo was done using these traditional tools, but he spoke in a Playboy interview of the three sessions and sixty hours it took to execute the freestyle tattoo. No stencils or prior skin markings were used, the artist created this image totally freehand.

 Samoan Polynesian Half Sleeve

Niuean/Maori Shoulder Tattoo

Rotuman Shoulder Tattoo

Polynesian Shoulder Tattoo

Above Images courtesy of


Cartatts said...

cool tatts

Zee said...

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I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed.Good job

lavaurus turner said...

Polynesian tattoos
Polynesian tattoos, have a broad range of styles and interpretations. These tribal tattoos have become increasingly popular among tattoo enthusiasts for their detail, history and meaning.
Tattooing was an art unknown in the western world prior to Captain Cook’s first voyage through Polynesia. The word tattoo is one of only a few words used internationally that have a Polynesian origin coming from the word tatau used in Tahiti, Tonga, and Samoa. In Hawai‘i the word became kakau. Read more here.