Polynesian symbolism, tattoos from the southsea and native marquesian culture

 polynesian tattoo, tattoo designs, meanings and their origin



Tuhuna  |  Reasons  |  Tools  |  Significance  


Art of tattoo


The gadget usually consists of a handle and a boneblade (1) and (3). The blade is providet with little sharp teeth, which were cut in with a bambooknife. Sizes of these boneblades vary (3). Researchers have found blades from 38mm length and 2mm width up to 78mm length and 14mm width. The size of these blades determines the number of teeth. But these boneblades have not only been made out of bones. Materials like tortoiseshell and rayspikes are also common. The handle is usualy wooden (hibiscus) and about 15cm long.
While tattooing the ornaments are ‘knocked’ with the boneblade and a little sledge (2), which is about 36-46cm long. Illustration (4) shows the act of tattooing.

The pigment

The Colour is mixed with water or coconut oil and the blade is dipped into this fluid. Soot of burned coconutshells or other nuts is the base of this fluid.When there was going on a lot of tattooing the pigment was made in special sootovens.















contact | disclaimer



Polynesian tatou, lots of examples and explanations