Traditional Marquesan upper arm piece

Posted: June 25, 2014 in Xisle Custom Tattoo
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I did this traditional Marquesan upper arm piece today on a gentleman that wanted to show his love for his two daughters as well as his love for the sea and fishing. There is also several protection motifs; mata hoata and hope vehine. He is planning on adding to it on his next visit and so is looking forward to returning here to Hawaii.

Breakdown of motifs is as follows:

a) Ani ata- sky or heavens, essentially heaven or where the sky and water meet. Represents his ancestors looking over him, providing spiritual protection and power (mana)
b) Pahoe- this is one of his daughters
c) Hope Vehine- the dark ‘c’ shaped motif is an analog to the turtle shell and is for protection
d) I’ima-hand, this motif holds the entire tattoo to the body
e) Pahoe- this is his other daughter
f) Ipu oto, vessel/gourd/bowl, this motif is a container analog representing a vessel to contain mana or spiritual power. It is also representative of the universe.
g) Tai- the sea, in this case a wave
h) Mekau- fish hook, because he likes to fish
i) Mata hoata- all seeing eye. This is an analog to a face with eyes, nose and mouth (j). The purpose of this motif is to act as a surrogate; it watches out for potential danger and is in a sense, clairvoyant. This one is different because I placed another set of eyes parallel with the nose so that it can see danger from all angles, forward/backward, up/down. The row of niho, or teeth (j) acts as its mouth and is intended to stop any threat by biting down on it.

Peace!

Comments
  1. Carolee says:

    Hello, are the symbols b & e only for daughters? I am female and want to show love for my family and husband. Are you able to show me those symbols?

    • Aloha! Yes, there are many symbols for family and unity as well as male forms. If you look through and read my blog posts you will be able to find them. Aloha and thank you for your interest in Polynesian tattoo:)