Posts Tagged ‘Ana’ole tattoo’


I have begun a video series on YouTube, speaking about Polynesian tattoo. This is the first video of the series. I think in total there will be 8 or so videos and I will try to produce one a month. I am asking those that wish to comment, to do so here on my blog to keep all the information in one place. Because I am a cheap bastard I cannot upload video to my blog, I can only provide a link to the video:

Thank you for your time and aloha,



Did this Ana’ole Polynesian style honu on the calf of a gentleman from Canada the other day. He wanted a piece that spoke of his marriage, his two sons, his love of the outdoors and nature, family, protection, new beginnings and love for the sea. The entire piece represents his love for the sea, which is why he chose the turtle in the first place. Super cool dude! Had a blast chatting it up with him and his wife. Hope to see them again soon.

Breakdown is as follows:

a) mata/maka= eyes. These two symbols represent his sons, individually. I placed them on either side of the turtle so that they are positions of observance, to watch out for him.

b) lei e ata te hae= wedding garland. This symbols represents he and his wife’s union, and is essentially a garland of individuals holding hands, connected together as the two families unite.

c) ani ata= sky/heaven/ancestors. This symbol reinforces the bottom symbol (b) and represents his ancestors looking down on him from the heavens essentially protecting and blessing his marriage.

d) kofati= crease/fold/plaiting. This diamond pattern represents a weave of fronds, such as pandanus or palm, and is an analog to nobility and the righteousness of the earth.

e) mata hoata= all seeing eyes. This protective symbol is used to watch out for impending danger and is a more elaborate version of the mata (a).

f) niho=teeth. This symbol of a closed mouth is meant to catch sin and protect as well as offer courage and strength. It is at the front of the turtle shell to protect the symbols the follow it.

g) ka’ake= upraised arms.  These two symbols represent upraised arms that are meant to convey power, force, and generosity.

h) koru=unfurling fern head. This Maori symbol represents the unfurling fern shoot and is meant to convey life, breath, new beginnings and the earth.

i) lei niho= garland of teeth. This motif is the same as ‘f’ only set into a lei, or garland.

All of the symbols are done in Fibonacci sequence in both number and form.

Thanks for looking!


I’ve been so busy lately! Just got back from the Pacific Ink and Art Expo on Oahu, which was a total blast. Got to do some work and hang out with my homie, King Ruck.
Looking forward to possibly doing one more show for the year (New Orleans), will keep posted.
At any rate, here are some pictures of recent work.


10524601_10204594379921127_7668034766101634459_nTrash Polka

10552378_10204552967125833_1709935038410876099_nPlumeria cascade at PIAE

10561685_10204570347040320_3543704008722668907_nTrash Polka cover-up, PIAE

photoHawaiian god of creation, Kane, Ana’ole style

This 3 session side piece is done in Ana’ole style with Marquesan motifs. I wanted to create something that recalled the sense of watching lava pouring forth from the earth and chose the appropriate color palette. I also did not want to clutter the piece with multitudes of intricate sub-motifs because I didn’t want to detract from the over-all organic feel.

Here is the breakdown of the motifs I did use:

a) Reflecting etua. These twin etua (godlings) are at the beginning and ending of the flow of lava that is pouring from Pele’s mouth. Their purpose is to hold up and fortify the lava flow, adding divine power to this already divine act.

b) Mata hoata. All-seeing eye is set between twin etua to watch out for danger and protect the wearer.

c) Pele. Depicted here in a feminine guise, Pele consists of several motifs that complete her overall look. Her hair is a combination of papua, or garden sections (the half circle elements) because I wanted to keep it simple yet still have the option to add shading and color. Papua motifs are generally used to fill space and can be in any shape as long as the shape is somehow enclosed. At the top/center of her head are the Marquesan motifs for fire, or ahi (Hawaiian). By combining papua and fire and by coloring some elements and simply shading other’s, I wanted to convey the sense of smoke, flame and ash.
Inset onto Pele’s face is the warrior motif, koko ata.

d) Hope vehine. This is a highly stylized rendition of the hope vehine motif, the twin goddesses of tattoo and kea/ turtle shell combination. This is to protect the wearer.

e) Niho. Teeth motif is to protect the tattoo over all as well as acting as a design element to break from the flow of the upper line.

f) Aniata. This is the sky and or horizon motif used in most Polynesian tattoo. This is simply a stylistic placement used to convey space in this particular piece. Space as in distance not as in outer.



Just finished this piece today. She wanted something that spoke of her family and ancestors. This is also a protection piece for her as well. The breakdown is as follows:

A- Aniata/ Halawai= The horizon where the sea and clouds meet, heaven, the reflection of the moon on the water. This symbol is ornamental and meant to be placed under ear lobes or any round body part. It was often placed on the buttocks (with ie vau and mata hoata) as a sign of defiance.

B- Hope Vehine= The symbol of the divine Siamese twins of tattoo, a symbol of power that invokes the power of the twins, also when placed on a female represents Kea, the turtle.

C- Lau Niu= Palm fronds, signifying higher status.

D- Mata Hoata= The face of divinity. meant to protect the wearer by ‘weeing’ danger or threats that the wearer may not see.

E- Koru= Fernhead, Maori symbol for everlasting life, cycle of life and new beginnings.

F- Poka’a= Marquesan symbols which represent strength. They add power to the wearer as well as the tattoo.

G- Etua= This particular tiki represents her son.

H- Hulu Pueo= Owl feathers. Her air aumakua is the owl. Each feather (6) represents the members of her immediate family.

I- Niho Mano= Shark teeth. Her water (ocean) aumakua is the shark. Each tooth (6) represents the members of her immediate family.

J- Hope Vehine= the placement of this symbol closes off the tattoo, fortifying it and adding protection to the symbols in the tattoo.

Peace and aloha!