Monday, 7 April 2014

Polynesian Tattoos

Tattooing was an integral part of Tahitian and Polynesian culture until Christian missionaries halted the practice in the 1800s. Thankfully, tattooing was re-introduced into French Polynesia about 30 years ago and is now a central part of the Polynesian cultural renaissance.

Here are some fabulous tattoos we saw on our trip. Their bearers agreed to let My Rare One photograph them.



The above tattoos belong to a guide on Huahine who originally came from California. His knowledge of Polynesian culture is truly encyclopedic. "Toa Nui" means "great warrior."


This handsome young Polynesian host on the Paul Gauguin ship has a fabulous tribal tattoo. And a beautiful smile.



These eye-catching tats belong to a catamaran captain who originally came from France.

Next post -- Did we or didn't we get our own tattoos?

[All photos by My Rare One, 2014]

32 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

Some great tattoos, but I've never wanted one. Afraid of needles.
Mary

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i hope you did! i would have come home covered with them!

Jeanne said...

Nice designs. Ink on the hands/wrist area are becoming more popular here.
And the $10,000 question has been ask...Did they or Didn't they. I shall stay tuned!

The Happy Whisk said...

Fun cliffhanger there.

Happy Monday.

Laurie M said...

I hope so too! At least one! Wow they are beautiful people!!

DEZMOND said...

I don't generally like tattoos but I do approve of shirtless exotic nakedness :)

Willym said...

Not a fan of tattoos but have to agree with Dezmond. Very charming.. smile.... ;-)

Ken said...

I like the sharp outlines on chesty guys tattoo. So cool!

Joy Christi said...

Those are fantastic! And yes, he does have a great smile! I'm so glad you're back, you were missed!

Miss Val's Creations said...

These tattoos are fantastic!

Jim said...

I Like tattoos and have a couple myself. Now the BIG question here is where are photos of yours and the Rare One's?!

A Beer For The Shower said...

I've always loved Polynesian tattoos. Such beautiful artwork. And no, as a white guy I'm not douchey enough to ever want one for myself...

Anne Johnson said...

The last one has a decidedly Celtic bent. I'm not surprised he is from France.

Elsie Amata said...

I hope you *did* get tattoos! I've got some that I love. Each with their own story. Can't wait to see tomorrow….

Mary said...

Beautiful tattoos! And boo on the missionaries! What's that expression? A pox on all their houses! Lol. I better watch out for my karma. Lol again

The Silver Bunny said...

Oh, I cannot wait to know the answer to that. Also, are they still done the traditional way ?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi Silver Bunny -- I don't know if any of the tribal ones are still done the traditional way, but I suspect not. The traditional way hurt like hell! Also, modern techniques are quicker and more sanitary. And tattooing is probably regulated under French law, now that I think of it.

Anne O'Leary said...

I'm a fan of tattoo art, although I have none myself.

Now did you two get something symbolic of your love while you were there?

Leeanna said...

David said that if I ever get a tatt he would divorce me. So, I must worship them from afar. *sigh*

CraveCute said...

Not really a tattoo person, but I appreciate the artistry involved.

Sparkless said...

I'm gonna say you did. I flirt with the tattoo fantasy but probably will never get one.

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

I considered getting just a simple tattoo for years, but I never did get one. Then after I was married I told my husband I was considering getting one and he was like NO... NO TATOOS.

Now I'm too old and a tatoo would just look wrinkled and baggy so guess it's out of the question now.. dang it.

I think you got one... I hope you did!

Linda said...

So this is what you have been up to!
I have no tattooes...my daughter has many....
Can't wait to see yours!
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

How nice that they brought this practice back after the Christian missionaries had sucked the joy out of it :)

Well, now I'm curious to see what you ladies have (or have not) done...

JACKIESUE said...

I love tribal tats, but not on skinny white chicks.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Christian missionaries have decimated Native cultures; they have robbed them of their traditions and their languages.
the Ol'Buzzard

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Love these tattoos!! Having 7 of them myself, they are a beautiful way of expression and individuality. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Willow said...

They do have great tats ~
one has great tats and a great smile ! :)

Magic Love Crow said...

Very cool tattoos! I really like the hand ones! Thinking of getting one on the hand ;o) That guy has a great smile ;o)

Riot Kitty said...

OK holy cow - OUCH. I have three relatively small ones, and you know when you get them they scab up, right? I admire the patience and pain tolerance of these people.

heartinhand said...

I would love to cover my tattoo with a nicer tattoo. Too chicken now. Maybe one day I will be in a pissy mood and get it done.

Cheryl said...

I personally don't have tattoos but love them (when done well) on other people. I think the tattoos on the hands and wrist are very cool.