The Polynesian Tattoo is rooted in Polynesian culture for many generations. Son of god Ta’aora the Polynesian tribes , the ” tatau ” is a tradition that has many meanings. Today it remains very popular due to its aesthetic and its multitude of symbols adapted to the style of each. Let yourself be seduced by this body art during your stay in Polynesia.
The origins and practices of Polynesian tattoo
In Polynesia , the art of tattooing has various origins. Upon the arrival of missionaries , tattooing , or ” tatau ” in Polynesian , was to communicate with tattoos on body parts symbols . According to legend, both son of the god of creation have practiced this art to seduce Pahio , daughter of the first man and the first woman they fell in love. Then they taught the practice over time .
These divine origins are marked by the use of tattoo to show the tribes belonging to a high social rank more men were tattooed over their prestige was great. Conversely, when a man did not have tattoos, he was despised by his family . The tribesmen were tattooed as a teenager to make the transition to adult life. The tattoo is also designed to enhance fertility and links with the supernatural and the sacred .
Female tattoos are limited to the face , hands, arms and feet. They are less ornate than men but as ornaments and as more elegant. As well as for men , women with no tattoos are considered unattractive and were often rejected.
Girls must have a tattoo on the hand to be freed from taboos about food. They then got tattooed at puberty to prove they were old enough to have sex. Regarding children, the baptism ceremony resulted in making a tattoo .
To make tattoos, tribes used a bamboo handle on which was mounted a sharp object such as a bird bone , a piece of shell or tooth fish. The tattoo artist uses a hammer to facilitate the penetration of the dye into the skin. The meeting was very painful and is a mark of pride.
The Polynesian Tattoo Today
The Polynesian tattoos were banned by the English missionaries for over 150 years. Polynesians have had to abandon their traditional practices while young Polynesians want to return to tradition.
However, since the 1980s, and Tahitian tattoos are mix. It is also increasingly tattooists in Polynesian tattoo you can during your trip . In fact, every year in November in Moorea, Tatoonesia festival takes place which allows to stage new tattoo experts and offer to introduce you to this part of the Polynesian culture. Some of them prefer the aesthetic forms , others will highlight the symbolic side with motifs harboring meanings and particular values . There is indeed a wide range of reasons , but the most famous are the tribal, animal or head warrior.
Tahitian tattoo reborn last ten years because it is more intimate but becomes a mark of belonging to a family and must be visible to all . We can also see it as a way to Tahiti but also worldwide .
Polynesians between culture and traditions
French Polynesia is a dream destination for many people . Idyllic for honeymooners, it is also very nice for a family . The omnipresent sun , long white sandy beaches and magnificent diving ensure you an unforgettable trip.
The Polynesian Islands are not only a paradise on earth. Indeed, these islands are also rich in natural and cultural wonders . French Polynesia has a very rich cultural heritage still present today. During your trip, you can also observe and experience yourself Polynesian traditions and customs . Between culture and traditions , Polynesians have kept their authenticity and charm.
Ubiquitous Polynesian Cultural Heritage
French Polynesia has a very rich cultural heritage and it is especially varied . Indeed, between architecture , archaeological remains , dance, painting or music but also literature, you will find traces of this culture in each of the islands of French Polynesia
On archeology, ancestors left their traces . You will find many typical temples , called maraes . The best known are the marae Taputapuatea on the island of Raiatea or Arahurahu the marae in Tahiti. You can also see some remains of ancient dwellings, paepaes . These are the remains of volcanic or coral stones that were raised wooden houses .
The artistic heritage is still present. Dance is an essential part of the Polynesian culture. Previously, dances marked major events . Now you move to the beat of different dances like Tamure in Polynesian evenings. But who says dance music says . In the past sacred songs exist, few remain today . Today’s music is nevertheless a percussion music . We also find guitars and ukuleles . Besides music and dance throughout your visit you will discover magnificent sculptures as Polynesian tikis ( totem ) or paint the gallery Tropics including Papeete .
A return to the original traditions of French Polynesia
Some traditions are lost with modernity. However , for some time , they are back. Some have never left the Polynesians as tattooing, various ceremonies or Polynesian cooking oven. The warmest tradition is that of welcoming tourists at the airport with the famous necklace tiare flowers .
One of the traditions that disappeared a few years is the Polynesian tattoo, famous again. In fact, before the arrival of Europeans , the tattoo was a way of asserting his personality. It was a form of identity engraved on the skin. With the arrival of missionaries , it has long been banned , it is forgotten for many. The tattoo has regained its importance in the 80s and today most of the Polynesians were tattooed . Tourists often leave with a tattoo , often not permanent. Today, the designs are different and express more creative spirit of the Polynesians , or clan affiliation .
Polynesians are also very attached to their traditional festivals. All their arts, dance and music are expressed through these festivals . You can also see beautiful costumes and wreaths . The most important festival is that of Heiva i Tahiti in July . It allows you to celebrate sports and all artists. Then there is the traditional events such as stone lifting , climbing a coconut tree , preparation of copra or the famous canoe races . The artisans also take this opportunity to exhibit their works .
Next gastronomy, French Polynesia has many specialties. However , the tradition of ahima’a the famous Tahitian oven has always been rooted in society . You will then have a full meal, where all food is stewed in the ground in a large pit. To light the fire , you put your firewood and volcanic stones.
There are cultures and traditions like these that through the years without losing their authenticity. French Polynesia is a destination that promises a journey between tradition and modernity . During your stay in French Polynesia , do not hesitate to combine several islands or take a cruise in Polynesia to find out more and thus a memorable stay .