Tatau Sāmoa History 3


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Today tattoo magazines picture Sāmoans and foreigners alike in magazine with their Peʻa and Malu. Also seen are copies of the Peʻa using similar structures and over sized patterns, even by modern tattoo machines. It is debatable on how this effects the traditions of the the Peʻa and how people precieve the Peʻa. After all, Sāmoan Tatau was developed over 2,000 years of cultural heritage and integration with aesthetic refinement that make it true unique.

Therefore, Tatau Sāmoa is not just some 'tattoo' that is picked off a wall at a shop, should not be categorized, treated, or copied as such. What should be done is to learn about and view the true Sāmoan tatau by the Sāmoan masters, the Tufuga Ta Tatau.

Sāmoan legends and songs as they explain the origin of the Sāmoan tatau are based originally on factual events and people. With only oral traditions and such a long period of time, there are a few different variations but they are a good place to start research. Sāmoan legends also have a few different layers often communicating many different things at once.

One cannot write about the Sāmoan tatau without mentioning the courage and endurance that is required to finish the process. It is known that it has caused fatalities throughout its history due to extensive blood loss and although it has rarely caused death, it has been apart of the lives of the Sāmoan people for thousands of years.

Sāmoan proverb "the work of the man - that while women shall bear children, men shall feel the fire of the tatau," - Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin"Navigating the Future: A Sāmoan Perspective on U.S. Pacific Relations" Today tattoo magazines picture Sāmoans and foreigners alike in magazine with their Peʻa and Malu. Also seen are copies of the Peʻa using similar structures and over sized patterns, even by modern tattoo machines. It is debatable on how this effects the traditions of the the Peʻa and how people precieve the Peʻa. After all, Sāmoan Tatau was developed over 2,000 years of cultural heritage and integration with aesthetic refinement that make it true unique.

Therefore, Tatau Sāmoa is not just some 'tattoo' that is picked off a wall at a shop, should not be categorized, treated, or copied as such. What should be done is to learn about and view the true Sāmoan tatau by the Sāmoan masters, the Tufuga Ta Tatau.

Sāmoan legends and songs as they explain the origin of the Sāmoan tatau are based originally on factual events and people. With only oral traditions and such a long period of time, there are a few different variations but they are a good place to start research. Sāmoan legends also have a few different layers often communicating many different things at once.

One cannot write about the Sāmoan tatau without mentioning the courage and endurance that is required to finish the process. It is known that it has caused fatalities throughout its history due to extensive blood loss and although it has rarely caused death, it has been apart of the lives of the Sāmoan people for thousands of years.

Sāmoan proverb "the work of the man - that while women shall bear children, men shall feel the fire of the tatau," - Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin "Navigating the Future: A Sāmoan Perspective on U.S. Pacific Relations"