17 May 2011

Hawaiian Tattoos

Hawaiian Tattoos
Hawaiian Tattoos

The tattoo in the picture is a perfect example of a tribal Hawaiian tattoo. Hawaiian tribal tattoo art, known as Kakau, has been practiced for thousands of years and for a variety of purposes which include personal identification, as talismans to offer protection to it’s bearers and above all adornment. The tribal Hawaiian tattoos were mostly black, the tattoo ink was made of a mixture of kukui nuts and sugarcane juice. And traditionally, since there weren’t modern tattoo guns, the artist used bird beaks and claws, that were connected to a branch and hit with a mallet to force the ink into the skin.

Hawaiian tattoo designs are larger compared to other Polynesian designs, and bolder as well. They often feature totem animals worked into the design which include sea turtles, lizards and dolphins. Other design elements include arrows, birds and flowers, especially the hibiscus. In the beginning of the 19th century, when European settlers arrived in Hawaii, the art of the Hawaiian tattoo slowly vanished until its renaissance in the 20th century. Now it is beginning to enjoy an unprecedented popularity, especially among the young. Hawaiian tattoo designs have a strong retro appeal that many people enjoy.

7 Oct 2010

Hawaiian Tattoos

Hawaiian Tattoos
Hawaiian Tattoos

The more tattoos you see the more obvious it becomes that hawaiian tattoos are very similar to many of the tribal tattoos one may see. Similar in as much as artistic style and color usually. But there are also many things that make them different. A lot of hawaiian tattoos depict entire scenes of things happening, like a hunting party on the move or a battle their ancestors once fought, and they will often times include images of both men and animals whereas the tribal tattoos almost never do this.

The tribal tattoos were much more restricted, artistic wise and generally used for a much more specific purpose.

These type of hawaiian tattoos told more of a story than anything else. And in the days of old it would be something like having a small history book put onto ones body. It was indeed a way of passing information down from generation to generation. And I would think it would be a much more reliable way than doing it by word od mouth like many cultures did before they had a written language. Because with the word of mouth thing, everything changes every time someone new tells the story. But when the story is in images it would be much more clear.