This forearm piece is intended to show this persons love for the land, sea, air and fire. It is also a representation of his unity with family and ancestors. At the center is a compass motif that speaks of his past and future travels.
The overall paka shape is that of a hulu ‘io, or hawk feather. This relates to his aumakua and also symbolizes freedom. The symmetry of the piece speaks to the intended duality of the overall design which reinforces the efficacy of the tattoo.
This piece is done in Ana’ole style while its component pieces are done in traditional Marquesan, Maori and Hawaiian.
a) Hope vehine/ Kea/ Mata- this symbol represents the twin goddesses of tattoo, the turtle shell and the eye. Intended to glorify the art of tattoo, protect and look out for danger, respectively.
b) Mata hoata- brilliant eyes, this motif is meant to protect the wearer from unforeseen dangers and to protect the integrity of the tattoo itself.
c) I’ima- hand, this point is where the tattoo itself attaches to the wearer. The intention is to hold it fast to the body.
d) Koru- unfurling palm frond, this Maori motif is meant to convey the cycle of life, new beginnings and breath.
e) Heo’o- compass, this Marquesan motif represents direction and acts as a guide.
f) Ani ata-sky, heavens, ancestors, this motif represents the heavens and his ancestors as they watch over him.
g) Ama kopeka- fire, this motif celebrates the element of fire while also acting as a light to guide him through life.
h) Lau hala- this Hawaiian motif represents this persons connection with the land (aina) and his relatives.