Friday, May 13, 2011
Polynesian Tattoo: Following Rich Traditions
The Polynesian Islands are spread out over a large area. They include the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Easter Islands, Tahiti, French Polynesia and Hawaii. Parts of New Zealand have also accepted the Polynesian culture. Tattooing has been active in these parts since times unknown. A Polynesian tattoo has always made the natives proud and they all have a different meaning attached to it. The influx of missionaries in these areas put the brakes on tattooing but with the art form becoming a worldwide phenomenon, people in these regions and all around the world are becoming fonder of Polynesian tattoo day by day.
There are basically two types of Polynesian tattoo: Etua and Enata. Etua has many religious connotations and has a range of magical symbols spiritually connected with many Gods. On the other hand, Enata has links with the social status of a person. It characterizes the place of origin, social standing, occupation and history of a person bearing it. But these tattoos became famous in 1980’s with the art form witnessing resurgence in Tahiti which later became common in Mar
quesa Islands. New Zealand followed the trend and redefined it to suit the Western styles. In fact, tattooing has never ceased to interest all the people there.
The traditional Polynesian tattoo is back again in the New Zealand with the Maoris sporting full body tattoos. Some women have begun to tattoo their chin and upper lip just like their predecessors. But the most number of this style of tattoos is most probably worn by the people of Easter Island and Rapa Nui. And all the tattoos have their specific meanings. It may be an initiation into manhood. Men are considered to be boys until they have their body tattooed. Women are also not left behind. They show their interest for the men by tattooing their bodies.
There are even particular tattoos for criminals. It would be great to supplement this idea in our modern society. Intricately designed tattoos have different stories to relate and some cover the entire body. Although modern methods of placing a Polynesian tattoo have come up, there are still a few who insist on having their body inked through trad
itional ways. A bone chisel does the necessary work with an attached needle. It causes a lot of pain and in fact, the locals proudly bear this as a mark of their bravery. But besides the pain, a Polynesian tattoo is really good after it is complete. The Internet provides many beautiful designs to have your body inked. Even if not for preserving traditions, these tattoos provide a great way to project your personality.
Posted by fitono at 11:01 PM