Monday, August 5, 2013

Traditional Polynesian Tattooing - TATAU

A  L  O  H  A !
Saturday, I went to the Tattoo Expo.
Here is a contemporary tattooing scene,
see the tattoo guns
 in the artists' hands?

I specifically went to observe
traditional Polynesian Tatau methods.
Tatau refers to the sound of tapping.

 "The word "tattoo" was brought to Europe 
by the explorer James Cook,
 when he returned in 1771
 from his first voyage to Tahiti and New Zealand.
 In his narrative of the voyage,
 he refers to an operation called "tattaw" 

(Play Da Song)

These ladies are doing traditional tattooing 
without machines

She is tapping the inked "comb"
with a tapping stick. Tap. . . Tap. . .
Tap. . . .

Gloves and sanitary rules are in effect,
and see, her comb is metal!

This artist is doing Samoan Tattooing.
See the movement-

click on his card

The tapping stick
 is ghostly in this shot

Keone Nunes has breathed new life
 into the Hawaiian Tattoo.
His tribal patterns MEAN something,
 honoring his
ancestors and culture.


His hand tools look 
much as they might have
in pre-contact Hawaii

Polynesian Tattooing
 takes a "village"

Some folks had more fun
 than others.

Hear and see some action:

THANKS for Visiting!
Leave a comment :0


the walking man said...

With there being almost as many Tattooing shops around here as there are liquor stores the art of it has become fairly passe to my eyes.

Fireblossom said...


Joop Zand said...

These guy's are great artist.....i like that movie and the's a great post Cloudia.

Greetings from Holland, Joop

eViL pOp TaRt said...

A very interesting post about this traditional practice. Thanks Cloudia!

Brian Miller said...

wow, truly fascinating...particularly the cultural traditions and the staying near them over modernizing....

aloha from va

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Is it sacrifice for art

DeniseinVA said...

Fascinating! I would have liked to see all that going on.

Adam said...

I could never get one

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful, and truly a talent, but not for me. :)

Leovi said...

Yes, pretty pictures, a way to represent the art!

Daryl said...

l i can say is ouch

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I wonder if it hurts as much as the 'gun' method ? So very interesting to see the traditional methods, such a big tattoo. I have a really small tat, that was bad enough :)

Karen S. said...

Art for sure, more importantly, truly a deep form of meaning is linked with each tattoo for all of my children, and their spouses, yet not for my body. Although, I stand behind each memory and reason that is bestowed upon the bodies within family!

Myrna R. said...

When I went to Hawaii I was flabbergasted when my husband walked into a tattoo parlor and actually got a tattoo. He was so happy to discover he was NOT their oldest client. No matter how long we're with someone, they can still surprise us.
I've learned to appreciate the art more too.

Geraldine said...

Ouch...I'm not a tattoo fan but some of those are works of art! And what an interesting technique.

Where we live in BC, the majority of people have tattoos. I'm in the minority and it's gonna stay that way. LOL

Charles Gramlich said...

Great detail on these pics. I just never really found a tat I wanted to live with all my life. I count my scars as tats.

Cloudia said...

I love each of your comments! Thanks-

So much :-)

Frank Baron said...

I've never been a fan of tattoos but I can appreciate the art behind it. This looks like it might be less painful in some ways but more labour-intensive. Fine post.

Frank Baron said...

Frank keeps signing me out.. that was me.. Hilary. But you probably already knew that. ;)

Kay said...

Sorry... But I just can't get over the ouch part.

Cloudia said...

Thanks, lady-pals:-)

Yes, I hear that it is less painful. Of course, the full male Samoan tattoo covers a lot of tender skin and takes days and days! Esp before modern gloves and such, infection and accumulated pain made it a true hero's journey to get one.

Anonymous said...

I find the tapping version amazing. I think the old spirits squeezed in to your photo of the fast-moving tapper hammer! I'm too scared. DrumMajor

Cloudia said...

Yeah, I get emotional looking at this post. Thanks!

Elephant's Child said...

A good tattoo is a thing of joy and beauty.

kaykuala said...

Tattooing made a re-emergence in recent years.I remember during the 'flower revolution' of the 60's but even more now! Thanks for sharing Cloudia!


Cloudia said...

Thanks you two dears!