This tattoo has a great deal of meaning to me because it inspired my own half-sleeve. I recently searched the image and another blog site was ‘lifting up’ the image. Fair enough. It’s a wonderful design full of distinct messages. Aloha.
The website Fotolia is a powerful engine that can give you lots of reference materials when searching for ‘input’ to help with your design. I suggest a couple of things: 1) note that the images on Fotolia are trademarked and if you use them you need to acknowledge that fact, and 2) don’t copy anything on the Fotolia site. Rather, dig deep into your creative side and use the ideas that spring forth from any and all reference material as a means for creating the best possible tattoo design.
Is this design a combination of both – or clearly set in one camp? I see both with this ink job. The center piece speaks Polynesian but the sun dial will offer up a touch of what the Hawaiian’s call ‘kala.’ Either way this is a very nice example of a cleanly designed and inked tattoo.
Beauty is skin deep.
A tattoo goes all the way to the bone.
By the beginning of the 20th century, traditional tattoos within the Marquesas Islands was rarely seen. The growing custom was to have your name tattooed on your arm, and few people (native or otherwise) adorned full-bodied tattoos. Partially due to the prohibition of 1884 (damn French!) and partially due to a declining population. The ban was rigorously defended and tribal tattoos were almost eradicated within a generation. I say almost because many full-bodied tattooed souls traveled to Hawaii and other islands of Oceania. Their inked bodies and traditions went with them. In this case the French had a temporary impact. Viva la Marquesas!
The tattoos of the Marquesas Islanders were original to word carvings and involved geometric shapes, simple lines and circles, ovals and lozenges to concentric squares and spirals. The ovals and circles were then halved to formed semi-ovals – and diverging lines were interjected to create abstract human faces. This process evolved and heavily influenced Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islanders as their inking arts expanded.
A tattoo is a marking made by inserting indelible ink into the layers of skin to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons. Tattoos on humans are a type of decorative body modification, while tattoos on animals are most commonly used for identification or branding.
The concept of tattooing as a protective device seems to come through other areas of Polynesia, especially the Marquesas. There, full body tattooing was a form of armor. It guarded the warrior as if an external metal plate would guard a horseman in Europe. Influences of Polynesia are seen in the image herein – with blades, cutting point and reverse symbols of kai (water). Variations in the design denote layered meanings – most of which are known only to the owner.