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.
Hawaiians and Polynesians have a staunch belief that tattoos possess two meanings: 1) an overt or visual one that an onlooker can decode for himself/herself, and 2) a deeper story which isn’t disclosed because it diminishes the tattoos worth and protective power. Herein is a tattoo with a strong overt meaning and a hidden message – can you see it? Better yet – can you decipher it?
“Whenever missionaries encountered tattooing they eradicated it.”
(Gilbert, Steve, Tattoo History: A Source Book, p. 101)
Tattoos and implications in society. Winston Churchill would have disagreed with Raspa and Cusack. Churchill had his family’s coat of arms inked on his chest.
“Evidence indicates that it is the mere presence of the tattoo, not its artistic content, that correlates with certain diagnoses. Thus, any tattoo can be viewed as a warning sign that should alert the practicing physician to look for underlying psychiatric conditions.”
(Raspa, Robert F. and John Cusack 1990, Psychiatric Implications of Tattoos, American Family Physician. 41: p. 1483)
Many people love all-black tattoos and the vast amount of coverage by a black ink. Interestingly (as noted herein) the tattoo when fresh is very black. However, as the tattoo heals, it will often times turn a strong shade of gray as it peels and scars then back to black. It’s very important during this transitional phase to apply moisture (ask your artist for recommendations) that includes vitamin E. The inclusion of vitamin E helps in the healing process.
Two years ago I made a conscious decision to study the art of inking (the body). I’ve spent countless hours researching topic via the web, text and journals within the UTK library, and the databases of UTK’s online library system. Throughout my journey I’ve shared countless images and stories about the world of tattooing. Today, my website is visited by more than 10,000 surfers each week.
Standing on the sidelines I studied the art form and learned how to dissect the good, bad and ugly. If you take time out to review my website you’ll find some beautiful tattoos … but you’ll find many tattoos gone wrong. As my personal appreciation of the good stuff grew, I studied the work of well-known artists (living and deceased). Throughout the journey I envisioned becoming a kindred member of the 5000+ year-old tattoo club, and the probability or eventuality of being inked.
Tattooing of the body dates to at least 3300 B.C. as evident from the markings on “Otzi the Iceman.” Tattoos found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies date to 2000 B.C.; classical authors mention the use the use of tattoos in connection with Greeks, ancient Germans, Thracians, and ancient Britons. The same can be said of tattoos within the Oceania region, but history is not preserved in a written context to verify its origins there. Many researchers believe Oceania inhabitants considered tattooing an ancient custom to mark taboos and/or to embody magic in the person adorning the ink.
James Cook, an accomplished cartographer (who mapped the Hawaiian Islands), and his colleague, Joseph Banks (a botanist) gathered first-hand observational data from their voyages within the Oceania region. They were tasked with observing the people, animals and plants they encountered in the region. Cook and Banks clearly understood the process of inserting blue dye under the skin because they witnessed many an islander being inked via pointed bones and simple tapping devices made of wood.
Until Cook and Banks “observed” the process, descriptions of the process were awkwardly described and typically without accuracy. Joseph Banks is the credited inventor of the word “tattoo” derived from the Tahitian word ‘tatau.’ According to Maarten Hesselt van Dinter in his book, The World of Tattoo, “tattooing gained its identity as a distinct art form with the invention of the word.” I firmly believe observational data can provide anyone … including all those who fearful of tattoos … with sufficient information to embrace the art form.
Tattoos abound among my cycling buddies – many of whom sport numerous watermarks and full-sized tats. When you ride, train and race with the same group of guys, most of the conversation centers on family, professions, travels, and on occasion, tattoos. When asked about a tattoo, each and every conversation ended with the same advice (about getting inked): “create a design that you can live with for a lifetime and/or make damn sure the artist is just that — an artist.”
An attorney friend (with more than 10 tattoos) led me to person he trusts – an artist with an established reputation and full command of the iron. The artist who inked him – and now me – is Dale Johnson, owner of Mythical Markings located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Johnson is a gifted artist who produces tattoos that are highly creative and tight. The art deck on Mythical Markings website will give you a brief overview of his creativity.
In September I stopped by to introduce myself and talk about getting inked. Naturally my white shirt, tie and pressed pants seemed odd. Dale actually backed up – thinking I was either a salesman or a lawyer. He relaxed when I said, “Josh sent me.” We sat and reviewed my reference material and talked about creating a unique and custom design. Throughout our conversations we discussed each creative element or component, and the intended meaning(s) to be conveyed through the design. The final design that we agreed upon resulted in the creation of original artwork reflective of my input and my interests.
Herein are the photos of my tattoo outlined after our first session. This was the first step in the process of creating Koali`i – in outline form. While sitting in the chair Dale asked me to describe the pain. Curiously I answered with … “it feels like a scalpel is dragging across my skin with a sharp pin repeatedly paving the way for the blade.” He told me that answering the question while in the chair would help me remember. Surely it did.
Two weeks after the outline was inked in and completed, I revisited Mythical Markings for an extension to the original tattoo design. We added five crucifixes to the top, and Dale completed the fill-in work at the top of the half-sleeve and face of Koali`i. Once again, Dale asked me about the pain and I provided an entirely different answer. “The fill-in work is easier to take when you give in but it’s difficult to let go and accept the pain.” One spot hurt much more than any other (including the back side of my arm). For some reason the scarred skin of my smallpox shot was super-sensitive and alarmingly painful when inked.
For most of the 3.5 hours I didn’t give into the pain – in other words my arm was tense as I resisted the iron. There were minutes when I gave into the pain, but for the most part I fought it. This proved to be a mistake because for the next four days the muscles in my left arm were extremely sore. I learned something, and it applies to life itself: when pain comes (and it surely will) – give into it. Allow it to exist – don’t fight it. As HRH the Dalai Lama once said, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”
Herein are the images from my second sitting at Mythical Markings:
Another week passed and the calendar turned to October 31st – the final sitting for my first half-sleeve. We booked four hours for the fill-in work to make sure we were able to complete the half-sleeve. I was much more conversational during this session than in the previous two. Relaxing and giving into the pain helped tremendously. The mental process is actually very simple: separate your mind from your body and allow it to happen. While the needle was moving across my skin I accepted the pain and relaxed.
The needle isn’t “angry” nor is the artist applying the ink. The needle has no feelings – it is merely in a position to work at the command of the artist. The ink session was clearly the most painful of all three sittings (because of such a huge area being filled), but I was much more relaxed.
Finding a tattoo artist – some simple advice: Although tattooing isn’t heart survey, you’d best locate an artist whose life is committed to the profession. In other words, find a “Dale Johnson.” And if you can’t find one in your part of the world, then fly your happy ass to Knoxville, Tennessee. I highly suggest that you call ahead, talk with Brooke and secure an appointment. Dale is booked almost everyday.
Ok then. When I say, “inketh oneth” it officially applies to me.
Tattoos gone wrong: select a better brand. How about Target?! Then you’ll have a bullseye on your body!
Over the last year I’ve worked diligently to capture images that are representative of the very best in Hawaiian tattoo design – or Polynesian tattoo design. It’s been fun – and my website has taken on a global life of its own. My weekly unique visits now total more than 10,000; my best day was yesterday with 1,974 unique visitors. Ergo, there are a lot of folks who are very interested in searching for and finding tattoo art, reference material and images to “ponder” … what if?
Remember, when you find a design you like – project yourself into the future some 10 years and imagine if you’ll feel the same way … or will it be a yesteryear dream long past. Think about it.
For now – ink oneth.
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die. Or when you allow the ink-artist to forget his spell checker. Write oneth.
They lived through the age of the dinosaurs. They survived the earth’s age of ice. Sea turtles, the true ancients of the world, have been swimming the oceans for over 200 million years. Today, six out of the seven species are either endangered and on the verge of extinction, or threatened to become endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Visit turtles.org to learn more. If you want to see more tattoos within my site, click the tag cloud, Tattoos. Aloha.
This is exactly why I ride. Sure, I give up free time to prepare, organize and then actually ride. But the moment I begin sweating, well, that’s the moment I know why I’m riding: to burn calories and extinguish as many toxins as possible in a short period of time. The way I see it, the more I ride the more likely I am to stay healthy and the more likely my stomach will stay a bit smaller than the fellow pictured herein. His fatter than fat belly would make for some great tattooing … Mickey D’s, Wendy’s, Ben & Jerry’s (by the gallon), etc.
“Ride oneth I say!”
The world is divided into two
kinds of people:
those who have tattoos,
and those who are afraid
of people with tattoos.
Did you know that Hello Kitty is 34 years old? She was “born” on November 1, 1974 in London, England, and introduced to the world by the Sanrio company of Japan. She also has a twin sister named Mimmy, who can be identified by the yellow bow she wears on the right side of her head as opposed to the red bow Kitty wears on her left. Hello Kitty has enjoyed mild to wild popularity over the years, never completely fading away due to her appeal to all ages. Since she continues to be ink-material, let us enjoy the tat of the day. Aloha.
What’s really wrong with a jailed tattoo? There are several things “wrong” with this ink. First, you’re marked and easily tracked … forever.
Second, your mother will never forgive you for the ink job (unless of course she inked you herself).
No matter, the idea of inking the face means you’re either a badass mofo or you just want a crazy pattern that cops (or the world) can easily spot.
Remember, when we say “ink oneth” be cautious with your choices.
Queen Kamamalu, Queen Consort of Hawaii and Princess of Hawaii, formally Victoria Kamāmalu 1802 – July 8, 1824 – served alongside her husband Liholiho (who reigned as Kamehameha II) had a tattoo applied to her tongue as an expression of her deep grief when her mother-in-law died in the 1820’s. Missionary William Ellis watched the procedure, commenting to the queen that she must be undergoing great pain. The queen replied, “He eha nui no, he nui roa ra ku‘u aroha.” Great pain indeed, greater is my affection.
Early explorers found that both men and women wore tattoos in old Hawai‘i for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the tattoos were purely decorative. Jacques Arago, who visited the Islands in 1819 as a draftsman with the Freycinet expedition, noted that some men were heavily tattooed on only one side of their bodies. He wrote, “they looked like men half burnt, or daubed with ink, from the top of the head to the sole of the foot.” Hawaiian historian Samuel Kamakau noted that this solid black tattooing was called pahupahu. It was commonly applied to warriors in the Marquesas as a disguise, and it is thought that such tattooing may have set apart Hawaiian warriors as well.
If that was painful for the queen, I cannot imagine what the pain factor was for the women pictured herein. Whew. Take a break, Okay? Umm, guess you have to – there isn’t any skin left.
The legacy of the Polynesian tattoo began over 2000 years ago and is as diverse as the people who wear them. Once widespread in Polynesian societies across the Pacific Ocean, the arrival of western missionaries in the 19th century forced this unique art form into decline. Despite the encroachment of Christian religious beliefs that vilified tattooing as unholy, many Polynesian tattoo artists maintained their vital link to their culture’s history by preserving their unique craft for generations.
In Samoa, the tradition of applying tattoo, or tatau, by hand has been unbroken for over two thousand years. Tools and techniques have changed little. The skill is often passed from father to son, each tattoo artist, or tufuga, learning the craft over many years of serving as his father’s apprentice. A young artist-in-training often spent hours, and sometimes days, tapping designs into sand or barkcloth using a special tattooing comb, or au. Honoring their tradition, Samoan tattoo artists made this tool from sharpened boar’s teeth fastened together with a portion of the turtle shell and to a wooden handle.
Today (literally) you can walk into ink-shops … tattoo shops … and artists are willing to custom design a tattoo just for you in a clean, sterile, safe and friendly environment. One of Hawaii’s best is Odyssey Tattoo. They have two locations on O’ahu. I suggest reservations prior to arrival; they also offering body piercing and permanent makeup. The team at Odyssey is: Timothy Goodrich, Jesa Goodrich, Andrew Deaton, Shay Haas, Brian Mau, Eddie Diaz and Jacob Hanks.
From what I see they understand Polynesian-style tattoos and the artistry that makes for some of the best ink on the planet. Aloha.
There are not many Polynesian words that have entered the English language, but perhaps the most widely used is tattoo. Exactly where and when the word “tattoo” originated is open to debate, but it is certain that it was a corruption of the Polynesian word tatau, picked up by the early European sailors exploring the Southern Ocean.
In reality, tattoos originated as a method of identifying warriors some 5,000+ years ago. Historians note that tattooing has been a Eurasian practice at least since around Neolithic times. For example, Ötzi the Iceman, dating from the fourth to fifth millennium BC, was found in the Ötz valley in the Alps and had approximately 57 carbon tattoos consisting of simple dots and lines on his lower spine, behind his left knee, and on his right ankle.
Fast forward to the 21st century and we find that tattoos have experienced a resurgence in popularity in many parts of the world, particularly in North and South America, Japan, and Europe. The growth in tattoo culture has seen an influx of new artists into the industry, many of whom have technical and fine arts training. Coupled with advancements in tattoo pigments and the ongoing refinement of the equipment used for tattooing, this has led to an improvement in the quality of tattoos being produced.
Tattoos conjure up all sorts of images. Polynesian tattoos conjure up even more mystical imagery. When you say the word Polynesian tattoo designs to people, they immediately think beautiful islands, ritualistic dancing and “island” food. Throughout the history of tattoos, Polynesia has influenced thousands of artists who recognize the importance of tattooing as means for creating unique identifiers for the people of Polynesia. Tattoos and Polynesia go hand in hand especially when you recognize that tattoos were used as a kind of record book to keep track of a person’s personal history. There were specific markings to denote one’s social status, occupation, lineage, family and conquests in battle. Herein are two full back tattoos that are a mix of goth with overtones of Polynesia. Enjoy.
Playing cards are often featured in a multitude of tattoo designs – like the one in this blog post today. And the tattoo designs make full use of many of the symbols to be found in a deck of cards, all the way from the Ace of Spades, to the Queen of Hearts, to the ‘wild’ Joker. The modern pack of playing cards can be traced back to Medieval Europe, when cards were a dalliance of the rich. Printing techniques eventually made mass production possible so that playing cards became popular with common folk as well.
A deck of cards consisted of ‘royals’ (also called ‘court’ cards), comprised of King, Queen and Knight (later termed ‘Jack’) – and number cards ranging from the 2 (deuce) to 10. The Ace, which derived from the Latin for the ‘smallest coinage’, took the lowest value of one. The four suits, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs (originally cups, swords, coins and batons) came in two colours, red and black. In the 1500s, a pack became standardized to the 52 cards we have today. If you want to see more samples of card tats – the link is here: www.tattoo22.com
Yet another great example of a modern treatment of the tribal tattoo. Notice the clear lines, the use of skin space (aka “white” space) and the balance as it’s wrapped around the curve of the arm. Odyssey gets it done. Again.
One of my favorite ink shops is Odyssey Tattoo Gallery on Oahu. Great shop – killer atmosphere and from what I saw – several artists with the skill to pen some hot looking ink. The arm shot of the day is another tribal tat with a lot of detail – and a lot of black. Again, as the budget allows for it later this year, I’m suiting up for this addition. Peace to you Odyssey.
The Polynesian word “tatao”, which means “to tap”, can be the originator of this word though researchers suggest an Tahitian word “tatu” which means to mark something to be the distant ancestor of the modern word “tattoo”. Many different cavitations in the past and few in the current world have been performing the practice of coloring their body part for different reasons.
In few groups or religions, tattoo is an integral part of their religion and each person following the religion is required to have that tattoo mark on their body symbolizing the person authority as a group member. Even modern day gangs are seen to have a particular mark on their shoulders signifying their group name.
Herein is another example of a clear tattoo that brings the old world Polynesian look into a modern-world design. I found this somewhere in my searches on the net. It’s nice and clean. I’d prefer a tat this size to be rotated some, but it’s well executed.
Four images that strike a chord with me – well, for today anyway.
Get this … there is a new (!) Hello Kitty camcorder on the market. At just over 3 ounces this kitten has a built-in USB port with enough memory for 60 minutes of high-quality video. At $229.99 it’s not on my list of “to get” (it’s in conflict with my New Year’s resolutions). Alas it’s kewl though. If I had to decide between camcorder or the tat, I’d select the tat. Both are vertical, but only one of them outlives technology. Stencil that on your happy ass, arm or leg.
Это плетет кружево – превосходный пример традиционного искусства шрифта, плетут кружево объединенные с племенными изображениями татуировки, напоминающими древние вырезания камня петроглифа. Изображения более мягки и источают образы острова, переведенные современным художником.
Гавайское слово, ‘ohana, переводит к семье, родственнику, группе семьи, или связанный. “Ohana holo’oko’a, ‘ohana nui: расширенная семья, клан.”
This tat is an excellent example of a traditional font-art tat combined with tribal tattoo images resembling ancient petroglyph stone carvings. The images are softer and exude island imagery translated by a modern artist.
The Hawaiian word, ‘ohana, translates to family, relative, kin group, or related. “Ohana holo’oko’a, ‘ohana nui: extended family, clan.” Inketh oneth.
Mr. Robert Hackney owns A Tiki Tattoo – in the heart of Waikiki. The shop is well appointed to serve your needs. Having graced the doorsteps of many shops while on O’ahu, Tiki is way-laid-back and a bit more comfortable with people who are just curious rather than serious about getting inked. When you are ready, they are ready. Of course, an appointment is highly suggested. The shop is a sweet bit of Hawai’i – a true tropical lounge complete with bamboo décor.
I believe they have 5 artists on staff – and a piercing agent as well. I’ve read that celebs like Reverend Horton Heat, Mike Ness of Social Distortion, and Alice in Chains have been inked within the walls of A Tiki Tattoo. None of those folks were there the day I visited.
The enclosed photo/visual aid is a nice tat from the collection of A Tiki Tattoo. Ink oneth.
Hello Kitty (ハローキティ Harō Kiti?), full name Kitty White (キティ・ホワイト Kiti Howaito?), is the best-known of many simply drawn fictional characters produced by the Japanese company Sanrio. Hello Kitty can be described as a friendly white kitty with the head larger than her body, small button eyes and nose, but having no mouth.
In 1974, Sanrio Co. Ltd. of Tokyo introduced a Hello Kitty franchise. The first Hello Kitty item was a vinyl coin purse sold in Tokyo, according to Sanrio Inc.’s U.S. marketing director Bill Hensley. In 1976, the franchise was introduced into the United States. Since its beginnings, the Hello Kitty line has developed under licensing arrangements worth more than $1 billion a year in sales. Examples of products depicting the character include dolls, stickers and greeting cards to clothes, accessories, school supplies, dishes and home appliances.
The folks at Tiki Tattoo, Honolulu, Hawaii – well, they got the right stuff. I’ve enclosed some of their artists’ work herein. The best tat in the group is the Hawaiian woman — note the shading and dimension to Richard’s work. This is some of the best tat work I’ve seen. I’ve shown it to most of my friends who’ve been inked – and the reaction is usually, “wow.” Mine as well. Ink on.
(click to enlarge)
There’s more meow in Hello Kitty when she’s permanently inked on your skin. Thus, the images of the day. It’s a nice break from the Tour de France routine. Which is Ok because it’s a rest day. Well, some are resting but few will actually rest. Most Tour riders will spend four or five hours riding today (an “off” day LOL). I wonder if any Tour riders have Hello Kitty tats?
Ponder that. Ride on. Enjoy.
The search is on … for a righteous tattoo and I’ve landed in a couple of places. Number one, it’s going to be a Hawaiian-style but I’ll get inked here on the mainland. Due to issues with wetness, sun and such – a tattoo must be cared for in the first two weeks or you’ve got a problem. So, on my vacation isn’t the time … but when we hit the mainland … ink-on.