‘Polynesian Tattoos’ The Art of Ink (Season 2) Digital Exclusive | Paramount Network

‘Polynesian Tattoos’ The Art of Ink (Season 2) Digital Exclusive | Paramount Network

– [Si’i Liufau] We are able to
look at our tattoo and remind us that this is where we
came from, this is who we are and these are the stories
that define us as a people. – [Alipate Fetuli] This
was like a right of passage where you force this kid into
some crazy (beep) and then when he makes it out, it’s
like he’s ready for the world. – [Mike Fatutoa] Tattooing is
just one of those clever ways of making sure that traditions
are never forgotten. There’s so many deviations
of the same thing because they’re relaying
the same stories over and over, all the way
back to the first stories. (upbeat music) When I first got into tattooing,
I wasn’t really leaning to tattoo Polynesian artwork. I really didn’t
know much about it. It wasn’t till my family
started asking me for Polynesian tattoos and
I wanted to be able to understand the artwork
that I was giving to them. I ended up learning
more about my culture and it kind of led me into
becoming full into Tau tattooing traditional sao moon sao. – I was born in eastern Samoa,
but I grew up in Hawai’i. Pursuing Polynesian
tattooing, that was a comfort zone for me, because I was
familiar with the motifs, and I could grab a
hold of it because that was my first language. – I never sought out to be
a Polynesian tattoo artist. When I first got into
tattooing, I was doing gangster stuff on
the West Coast. It wasn’t until I had my
son, where I was like, man you know what? I’m going to try to
be a professional, and that’s when I hooked up
with my very first tattoo job. – [Si’i Liufau] Polynesian
tattooing is the artwork of the oceanic people,
the people of the pacific. – Polynesian tattooing is a
body of work of different styles from different places. Hawai’i, New Zealand,
Samoa, Tonga, New Caledonia, parts of Fiji. – [Si’i Liufau] That’s a common
belief that the word tattoo in our english language did
come from the word tatau and came from the early
visits by Captain Cook and those voyages. Those were some of the
first people that recorded their experience with
Polynesian people, so, when they seen what we
were doing and it was called tatau, the word transformed
over time to tattoo. Tatau is the art of tattooing
that’s been practiced in Samoan culture for
thousands of years. The traditional Polynesian
tattoo starts from the midback and goes down to below the
knees and it’s very heavy. It’s very linear with a
lot of geometric shapes. All of our markings
are tied to the earth, they represent plant
life, animal life, oceans. We try to embody certain
characteristics of these animals into ourselves. Probably one of the
most widely seen shapes is the octopus tentacle. The octopus is a soft
body but it’s one of the smartest animals
in the ocean. It’s also one of the strongest
animals in the ocean. – We see a lot of sea
creatures in our tattoo works because that was the
environment of our ancestors. They were natural voyagers,
they went from each island and settled there, settled
here, that’s why you see so many ocean based motifs. – [Si’i Liufau] We have
two tools, the Sausau and the Au, one hand
I hold the Au and the other one with the Sausau. And we’re just striking
that into the skin. Our tools were made of woods
that we found on the island, and turtle shell for the
backing and boars tusks, which were filed and sharpened
to create a tattoo comb, that actually made the mark. Now, turtle shell is
illegal, so we replaced that with plexiglass or fiberglass. – The tufuga or tattooer,
both his hands are occupied so, the role of the
stretchers is to position the skin to where the
tattooer is trying to implement his designs. – The stretchers are called
coso au coso or au solo, these are the men or sometimes
women that help us out. Not only do they stretch
the skin and hold it so that the tools can puncture and
make their mark, but they also help soothe the person
that’s getting tattooed. – Being a coso is the beginning
of the learning process of understanding the
work that goes into it. – [Si’i Liufau] The ceremony
that we do at the finishing of a tatau is called the Sama. This is where we finish the
work and we bless the tattoo we rub the person that’s
recently tattooed with fenuual with coconut oil and
langah to help the body heal. – It’s a ceremony for the
men who had the courage to go all the way through. When we tattoo people we’re
not just doing the motions this is some ancient shit. There’s a lot of
emotion and energy that goes into what we do. – One of the beautiful
things about being over here is I get to work
with a bunch of guys that are really passionate
about what we do, and the true meaning
of our art form. Just to be able to share our
art of Polynesian tattooing and the knowledge
that keeps it sacred. Especially this far
away from the islands that created our style. – What Polynesian
tattooing means to me is a reconnection, to
all my ancestors and everybody behind me. Cause I’m not only
speaking for me, but I’m speaking for
a whole generation of kids that are like me, that
are getting Polynesian tattoos to reconnect. – The recent revival of
Polynesian tattooing has a lot to do with people trying to
find their cultural roots, their identity, when I put
these designs on people they’re taking a piece of me and my culture with them. Polynesian tattooing
have been around for thousands of years
and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

100 thoughts on “‘Polynesian Tattoos’ The Art of Ink (Season 2) Digital Exclusive | Paramount Network

  1. Again this takes skill and talent.
    Wish I could learn that art of tattooing

    And that one guy look like Troy Polamalou

  2. I'm From Puerto Rico I know what represents ur own tattoo culture I got tattoo the represent my Indian tainos and I proud from I came from and I glad the I went to Hawaii beautiful people and island…TATTOOS 4 LIFE

  3. Tattoo is originally from Fiji. In Fiji we dont use Tattoo as a form of fashion it is use for medication purpose when there is blood clot Fijian women back in the days will use Tattoo to drain the clot blood out this process is called in Fijian "SAMUQAWE" we never use it as symbols but it was after two Fijian Princess of a prominent chief on the northern side of Fiji who sailed to Samoa and got ship wrecked. Later they were saved by the villagers who took them to the Village Chief where a feast was prepared to welcome them, not only did he treated them with a great feast but the Chief gave them his Canoe (Drua in Fijian) for them to sail back to Fiji. In return of the chiefs kind gesture to them they gave the knowledge of Samuqawe or Tattoo to the Chief to acknowledge their hospitality towards them but instead of medication purpose the Chief of that village from Samoa use it as a symbol of chieftainship by his family. This knowledge was later taught through out all Samoa not only in the chiefly house whole but it later fall to the commoners as well which is what it has become of today

    Some of you may be wondering what were the two Fijian ladies were doing there in the first place, for your information, they were there to visit their fathers sister who was married into a chiefly family on a neighbouring village of where they were ship wrecked to. The visit was because she was sick and as usual back then pacific islanders would sail to islands for visit or trade it was through this visit hence the begining and introduction of Tattoo to the Samoans because there visit changed course when they got ship wrecked

    Hope this would help people know the real and hidden stories behind the lies they have been listening to for years

  4. Polynesian tattoo's should be kept with in their own people.. no one outside the culture should get it. I get it how other people love and embrace the culture and want to get Polynesian tattoo.. but I just think its should be only identified with Polynesians because it's sacred to us.

  5. Proud to be Polynesian Malo you guys remember were a minority so we need to be strong love and support each other!!
    #TongaProud #Malo

  6. Why is everybody so desperate to steal Polynesian sacred tattoo (except for Maori)? What wrong with your own race tattoo????

    Colonizer have frequently tried to stripped our culture and family apart these tattoo aren't just cool marking on our body it goes beyond that it the story of our life and our people. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

  7. What’s the different style between Polynesian people tribal tattoo and native highlander people (head hunter) tribal tattoos?

  8. I must say that is one of the coolest traditions and you learn so much about the poly culture. I have alot of respect for the tattoos it's not just ink. And no I won't be getting one cause it's not my family tradition but it is so cool. All I'll got was cook books handed down in my family.

  9. Polynesians getting annoyed when white people get a Polynesian tattoo? Most non Polynesians have no meaning with their tattoo and it is for the looks. But I tell you what annoys me Polynesians getting the wrong f****ng tattoo. My cousin has the wrong tattoo (particular markings from a tribe hes not connected too), some one who should damn well know which tattoo to get. And hes not the only one.

  10. Since I was young I have always wanted to move to new Zealand I was so interested in there culture even though I was from Namibia….
    But my dream would one day come true and grow up learning the culture hope they welcome me

  11. I’m Samoan and I believe in this day and Age if people wanna look cool like Polynesians and get POLYNESIAN TATTOOS then let em, It’s not like they getting them to be racist , They wanna be cool like they Big Samoan friends 😂😂😂😂

  12. For us Polys, we can tell by the design on a guy or girl in public or when you’re at the mall and stuff which tatau is from which ever Island – Tongan, Samoan, Fijian, Maori and so on.

  13. Proud to be a suga❤❤ i will be going to take my dad home to see family in samoa
    and receive my malu im excited something ive wanted for so long its nearly here.

  14. I can't speak for any other Polynesian culture but for maori, we had no written language so we had no written history and so we wore our ancestry and life stories over our bodies. I see people who are not Polynesian wanting Polynesian tattoos all i'm saying is learn what you are getting tattooed on you the symbols and what they mean or the ghost of Maui will come for your boohole.

  15. That is the coolest!
    Carry on dudes. Us viking folk, we have the full sleeve like a totem. Every picture tells a story, just like you all. That's the way it should be.

  16. I have my Mayan sleeve
    And I can’t understand why so many white kids get things that are not from their culture people get Hawaiian / Samoan / Polynesian tribal patterns.
    I’m curious how that makes you guys feel?
    I’d be insulted and want to slap someone getting my Mayan tribal tattoos on them.

    Love and respect to you guys.

  17. Anyone know where I can look to see what are all the symbols and meanings of the Polynesian tattoo

  18. As a Mexican American. I'm always drawn to any natives who strive to keep traditions like this alive. Cheers brotha's & sister's 🤙

  19. We call it in Fiji…'Veiqia'…back in the old days…only Fijian women allowed to have 'veiqia' in Fiji,not men….we have a myth or a story abt it….Bula vinaka Pasifika!

  20. Being Samoan, Tongan and Niue. I would love to get a tattoo the traditional Polynesian way. Not sure where to get it put on my body being that I am already covered in ink.

  21. The original word tattoo in Scottish is a military drum. Wen the drunken sailors coming back from the Polynesian they could not remember the word tatu. So just called it to the nearest thing they remember which was a Scottish military drum Calder tattoo..

  22. I respect a lot this art, I mea. This is the guys that paint a mouse and 10 years later change to a whale! I can't do that!

  23. To any people that are of Polynesian/Pacific Island descent in the comments would you consider it rude if someone not of this descent got a Polynesian tattoo even if they understand the meaning and tradition behind it?

  24. Having this as a white dude to show you are “the one down with the minorities” is retarded and a waste of skin

  25. Tattoo from my people ain't no joke it holds a deeper meaning then the future would understand, but the message from our ancestors will always be in body with our soul and our tradition as the people of the Sea and the people of Polynesia

  26. Does the poly tatts is for big guys only? Im prom philippines and i would like to ink it into my sleeve…tnx!

  27. What do you guys think of foreign people who want to have a polynesian Tattoo. I am from Germany vistiting Hawaii soon and i want to get in contact with the culture and you way of making Tattoos.

  28. Polynesian art is so absolutely stunning! You can just FEEL the spirit of ancestry when you gaze upon the designs! So calming, and peaceful, and full of history. I am not Polynesian, but I think it would be so amazing to undergo that deeply cultural experience!! I am in awe.

  29. I love the designs and the styles. All the different meanings that each design has. One day I dream of getting one, but I want to learn the meaning before going to try to get one. I’m not Polynesian so I want to learn the culture a bit because I would not want to disrespect any culture if I got one. So definitely want to one day go to New Zealand, Samoa, and just the Hawaiian island to find the people behind the Polynesian tattoos to get a real tattoo with meaning.

  30. Kia Orana use didn't mention all of the cook islands, Tahiti,Rapanui🤔 come on cuzzis🙄I think everyone should watch thecoconut Tv about this topic

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