Posts Tagged ‘big island’

I did this chest piece a few months back and have been so busy lately that I’m finally getting around to posting the breakdown. He wanted to incorporate the old tattoo (I did not do) into the new piece. When he comes back I will fix the color in it. Anyway, this chest plate is meant to signify his love for his birthplace as well as to commemorate his new journey in life, moving forward. I really enjoy how this all came together and can’t wait to give it another pass when he comes home to visit.

Here is the breakdown:

a) Lau niu (coconut fronds)= this is used to signify noble intentions, peace and to also indicate that he is ‘of’ the land (aina)

b) Niho (tooth)= this symbol represents himself and it is pointing at the area on the Big Island where he lives

c) Koru (unfurling fern head)=  this is to symbolize life and growth; the back side of this image also points toward the area of the island that he lived

d) Mata (eye)= this is meant to protect as it watches over him

e) Lei niho (garland of teeth)= 8 teeth symbolize the state, one for each island in the chain

f) Kofati (crease)= this textile inspired image symbolizes unity, family and connectedness to the land

g) Koru (unfurling fern head)=  this is to symbolize life and growth

h) Po’o kohe (bamboo section)= this symbolizes the plant; resilient, strong and abundant. It also drives away evil spirits

i) Lau hala (pandanus weave)= this textile pattern represents family and island roots

j) Pakiei (crab)= this symbol is often misread as a cross or star, but it is intact a crab analog. This symbol represents his astrological sign but it also represents change, love and rebirth

k) Kai (ocean)= this represents the ocean as this element is important to him. There are 5 waves (nalu) keeping numerical consistency with the Fibonacci sequence

l) Ipu (bowl)= this symbol is a container for mana, or spiritual energy and is placed on the shoulder

m) Mano (bird)= this paka which also contains “p” and “r” symbolizes his new journey moving forward

n) Lau niu (coconut fronds)= this is used to signify noble intentions, peace and to also indicate that he is ‘of’ the land (aina)

o) Ka’ake (upraised arms)= these two arms, essentially opposing one another, symbolizes strength and the warrior spirit

p) Hui niho (teeth union)= this is to fortify the journey that he is on and connects his past with his future

q) Ihe (spear)= this analog is of the weapon and symbolizes a warrior spirit

r) Miti vao (bird foot prints)= the entirety of “m” “p” and “r” signify his current path; his journey. “R” would be the past that he is leaving behind as he moves forward into the future

s) Hena (hand)= this hand analog holds the tattoo fast to the body

t) Lau hala (pandanus weave)= this modified textile pattern represents family and island roots

Thank you for looking!

Aloha!

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This cover up is a combination of Maori and Marquesan motifs that roughly follows a Taulima (Samoan) structure. It does not cover his old gang tattoos completely as I felt that by leaving some of the old tattoo poking through, it could serve as a reminder of sorts, of his past, so that moving forward he could have a reminder so as not to stray from the path of righteousness.
The intent of this tattoo was more aesthetic but it does have a lot of personal meaning to him as well. Growth, protection and strength form the basis for this piece.
The breakdown is as follows:

a) Koru: unfurling fern head, Maori- Life, breath, new beginnings, growth and connection to the earth.

b) Ama kopeka: fire, Marquesan- To illuminate, to cast light upon. Used here to light his path moving forward.

c) Koniho: teeth marks, Marquesan- To protect from evil.

d) Ipu ao: bowl of the earth, Marquesan- Container of mana/power, creation, life, light.

e) Unaunahi: fish scales, Maori- Abundance. bounty of the sea. Here used to represent Hawaii and aloha.

f) Mata: eye, Marquesan- To watch over, protect.

g) Niho: teeth, Marquesan- Used to protect the tattoo and the wearer from harm.

h) Pepehipu: pounded tapa cloth, Marquesan- Worn as armor, covering tattoo underneath.

i) Hope vehine: twin goddesses, Marquesan- Very simplified version of motif meant to give life, protect and symbolize creation.

j) Enana kaake: troop of warriors going to battle, Marquesan- Sacred connection, common bond, fighting for a common cause (simplified version).

k) Hoka: rays of the sun, Marquesan- Courage.

Thank you for looking, and aloha!

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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!

Aloha!

Aloha!

I thought that I would post some of the clay Scratchbord™ etchings that I have been doing lately. If you don’t know what a scratch board etching is, please let me explain: A scratch board is either a cut piece of clay (masonite) or paper, that has a slick white coated surface, underneath a thin veneer of flat black paint. Using a scraper tool (xacto knife, sculpting tools, or proper etching tools), the surface of the scratch board is slowly etched away to reveal the bright white (and some times gold, silver, or bronze) color beneath. Working from a reference, I have created many etchings, and here are some of the ones of late.

I started out doing sea life: turtles, an octopus, etc. then moved onto a celebrity, Lauren Bacall, and even a T-rex skull. Over the past month, I have decided to do etchings of musicians that have influenced me over the years.

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T-rex skull

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Octopus

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Lauren Bacall

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Sea turtle

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David Bowie

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Sea turtle 2

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Peter Tosh

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Debbie Harry

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Johnny Cash

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Frank Sinatra

I find that although etching and tattooing are worlds apart in almost every regard, there are similarities that help me to become a better tattoo artist. Etching requires patience, accuracy and utmost attention to detail; one wrong line and it all looks like hell. By focusing on these things, I have found that my tattooing technique has become much more honed. So, I do etchings on down days when I have no appointments, or between appointments if time allows.

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John Bonham

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Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols)

Most of them are quite small, 8″x8″, the largest being 8.5″x11″. I even have a stack of playing card-sized scratch boards that I have yet to tackle. 🙂

Thank you for looking!

Aloha,

Roland

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I had a ton of fun with this tattoo! Meeting with the client. determining his history, drawing up the piece and then executing it, galvanized within me, the reason that I love my job so much: meeting and spending time with like-minded individuals.
This person hails from the Similkameen Indian Band (which is an offshoot of the Okanagan First Nation) in B.C., Canada. We immediately hit it off when he and his girlfriend came into the shop, asking about the significance of Polynesian tattoo. Because Polynesians and Native Americans are sister cultures, we ended up discussing the similarities of both and found that as individuals, he and I were very much the same in regards to our beliefs in both our cultures and personal lives. It is for these rare interactions, that I live to do what I do. I love meeting people from other parts of the world that have a profound love and respect for culture and spirituality as I do. It is rare, indeed and I covet those times like a junkie.
He had much history to discuss and like most folks it was filled with both happiness and sadness, love and loss, turmoil and prosperity. What we decided to glorify in this piece was his connection with the earth and the love for his family as the center point. He lives in a small village, virtually off the grid, and so his sense of community and connection to the ancient ways of his ancestors were also key points to consider. Hunting, communing with nature and respecting the practices of his ancestors are a very large part of his everyday life. I wanted to show that in the tattoo and it was not difficult. Sometimes tattoos design themselves and this is such a case.
I am so happy with this design because it manifested itself organically and in the end, displayed characteristics that were true to classic Marquesan tattoo (CMT) design, without anything being forced.
That is indeed a rarity.
Balance was what I chose to focus on because he was born on the scorpio/libra cusp and felt that balance was a key element in shaping his life. So everything in this piece is symmetrical and a mirror of itself, much like CMT. Not only that, but the entire piece works on the dual plane principle of CMT as well.
When all paka are taken into account (from a frontal plane), the entire piece can be seen to resemble an etua, or godling/divinity. The circle makes the head with each wedge shaped paka resembling (two upper and two lower, at each side of the tattoo) arms and legs, respectively.
As it happened to turn out, also along this frontal plane, another shape manifested itself in the lower quadrant, and that is the image of a face, with the koru forming a nose and the two ipu on either sides acting as eyes.
I did not intentionally set out to make this happen, it just occurred organically, which is always the best way for this to happen!
So, here is a breakdown of the motifs that speak of this person’s past and also giving him guidance and protection in the future.

Top to bottom:

The upper portion of this piece is split into 3 paka, with the circle being the center piece. From top to bottom the circle contains the following:

a) Past, present and future waves (hala, ano, mua) done as a flowing ribbon. The top arc is his past, the middle two converging lines are the present and the small pint at which they converge, the future.

b) Star (hoku), this is in reference to his spirit animal, the horse, as well as illuminates and guides him to prosperity in all future endeavors.

c) Birds (na manu), these birds represent his two daughters as well as freedom.

d) Sky/heavens/ancestors (ani ata) this represents his ancestors looking over him

Because of the symmetry of this piece, I will explain both right and left paka as one.

e) Hand (hena, i’ima) this hand holds the tattoo to the body.

f) Teeth (niho), protection

g) Palm frond (lau niu), connection to the earth, nobility

h) Eye (mata), to look out for danger, protection

When the two paka are viewed as one this is the All-seeing eyes, or mata hoata (protection from future threats)

i) Eye (mata), to look out for danger, protection

j) Spear (ihe), symbolizing the hunter

k) Teeth (niho), protection

l) Container of mana (ipu), container of power, the universe and creation

m) Container of mana (ipu), container of power, the universe and creation

n) Fish net (pahiko a tuivi), the purpose of this motif is to catch sin, or protect from sin

o) Hand (hena, i’ima) this hand holds the tattoo to the body.

p) Eye (mata), to look out for danger, protection

q) Fernhead (koru), Maori shape symbolizing growth, new beginnings, breath and life. Flowing from opposite directions for balance.

Thank you for spending time reading my blog and thank you for your interest in Polynesian tattoos.
Aloha and peace! R

Aloha! I’ve been working non-stop since getting back from New Orleans and Texas and haven’t posted anything to my blog for a bit. To make up for it, here are some recent finished tattoos and other items. Yesterday the North Hawaii News included me in an article about the renaissance of Polynesian tattoo happening in the islands (and all over the world), for which I am truly humbled.

Here are some pics of some recent work. Please hit up my site to see more work. Peace!

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This client wanted a piece that could be added to at a latter date, one that reflected his new direction in life while combining elements of his family lineage, past occupation and love of music. I included a protection motif, as such things are an intrinsic aspect of Polynesian tattoo to a greater or lesser degree.

The breakdown of the piece is as follows:

a) Koru with kape and pakura elements- The koru is a Maori motif and has several meanings but are generally meant to convey life, breath or new beginnings. In this case it represents this person’s new direction in life.
The line elements in the tattoo represent a non-curved variation of pakura, or footprints of the swamp hen. They are simply meant to connect the tattoo and are also placed on the outside of koru.
The circular motifs  on the outside of the koru are called, kape and represent eyebrows/lashes. This symbol represents beauty, attention, and intelligence.

b) Mata hoata- All seeing eye motif is done in profile in this tattoo. The nose can be seen at the bottom of this motif, moving upward we can see the eye as the principle element. At the bottom there are a row of niho. The entire motif is to look out for danger; to protect him from threats when his attention may be elsewhere.

c) Koru with pakura

d) Ipu- Container of mana, the universe. Ipu are containers that store mana (power) but also represent the female uterus vis a vis creation. It is used to show the creation of all things and therefore is synonymous with the universe. The ipu in this sense represents his creation of music.

e) Ama kopeka- Fire. This speaks of his past as a firefighter. The flame also represents illumination and is also a symbol of defiance when used with vai meama.

f) Niho- Teeth. These symbols are spread throughout this piece and all are done in Fibonacci sequence to represent the mana inherent in everything in nature. They are a protective as well as warrior motif.

g) Unaunahi- Fish scales. This Maori symbol was used a lot in woodcarving and represents fish scales which themselves represent abundance (of food) or bounty. In this tattoo there are 4 scales, each representing a member of his family that are healers (nurses, doctors, etc.).

h) Koru with pakura.

Looking forward to adding to this beast!

I hope you enjoyed the breakdown. Peace and aloha!

Did this Ana’ole shark yesterday. The body contains the motif, hala, ano, mua nalu–past, present and future waves. The future wave is inset with a mata hoata tiki to steer clear of danger. There are also two ipu motifs set into the head as containers of mana (power). There are also protective motives in the water surrounding the animal. Peace!

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lucasThis 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.

Peace!

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Aloha! I just wanted to post a little something on a side project that I’ve been trying to develop. It involves tanning fish skin, in this case lai (leatherback). Lai skin is very tough and shiny and it was because of these qualities that the skin of these fish were used to make fishing lures, back in the day. I am using it because of these traits and because I happened to have some laying around in the freezer. That being said, lay aren’t the easier fish to catch or spear so I have already procured some ono skin for the next attempt.
I have never tanned anything in my life, except myself, but my family had a ranch when I was growing up and my uncle made Hawaiian saddles. I spent many a day watching him during the process and so attempting to channel his creative spirit I set out to do this fish skin some justice.
The process is simple yet it takes some time. I am currently in between the salt phase and baking soda/kerosene phase.
The pic on the right is of the skin right after I tattooed it. It is very bright and shows more detail than the pic on the left. The pic on the left is after 10 days of rock salt/ switched out once during the process.
Currently the skin is undergoing the baking soda/kerosene phase that takes two weeks to finish.
I noticed that I lost some detail as the skin lost all moisture, and some of the color appears faded. I hope that after the process is complete and I break the skin with leather/mineral oil that the color will come back.
If all goes well, I plan on mounting the skin in a shadow box or something.
Surprisingly, there is little odor and the skin itself is becoming quite firm. Stay tuned for further developments.
Peace!

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