Posts Tagged ‘polynesian tattoo’

Here is some Polynesian work that I’ve done lately as well as some other pieces.

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The goddess of the wind, La’amaomao is holding the ipu (calabash) of the 32 winds of Hawaii. The god Lono, is standing on her legs and is seen behind her. Lono is both the ipu and the winds itself, being the god of fertility and wind, among other things.

Client is a kitesurfer.

Modern Marquesan.

 

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Honu is mainly asthetic with some protection thrown in for good measure.

Ana’ole style.

 

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Shoulder cap of strength and growth imagery that is done to represent the talon of a raptor.

Modern Marquesan and taulima.

 

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Shoulder cap, done Ta Moko style (Maori) with taulima influences. This shows his love of family, strength and courage as well as his love of Hawaii.

 

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Ta Moko style upper calf band meant to protect from harm and to look out for danger.

 

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Side piece donw in modern Marquesan with Ta Moko influences. This piece is represents her travel, ancestors, family and growth.

 

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Modern Marquesan, freehand. This is all about power and retaining mana.

 

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Rapanui style, ‘iwa bird.

 

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Mo’o and Honu.

 

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Blue Heron.

 

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Honu and Big Island.

 

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Father and son matching Ku tattoo’s. I tattooed the father a few years ago and so he wanted his son to have the same.

 

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Modern Marquesan chest piece, cover up.

 

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Modern Marquesan, mata kome.

 

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Olive tree branch. In memory of his daughter, Olive. She passed shortly after being born.

 

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Modern Marquesan and Ta Moko, gauntlet. ‘Iwa lani, love of Hawaii and the ocean, his family and protection.

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Thank you for looking! Aloha!

This client wanted a piece that reflected his faith and spirituality, his desire to become a pilot in the military and his love of family and of the sea, with the overall intention of balance. I chose to convey it all in symmetry (for balance) and again, utilized the nesting of a tattoo within the body of a tattoo.

The focal point is the large manu (bird) symbol that splits the piece in half but also acts as the crown of the head of the mata hoata that comprises a majority of the upper portion of the piece. On each wing I placed a row of ani ata which symbolize his ancestors protecting him as he moves forward. The circular mata shapes upper part feature four eyes; one set looking up, the other down. There are eyes on each cheek as well. This is a highly aware, protective piece.

This entire upper part is nested into a lower half that is itself another mata, albeit only the eyes are present. This is because the upper part is a tattoo on the head of the lower entity, speaking of divine connection and spirituality as it is, being born of mindfulness.

The lower portion shows family and protection, with the niho that form its upper mouth and growth and strength in its lower jaw, with the koru and ka’ake. There are also twin fish hooks on either side of the tiki that show his love of the sea and visually, act as ears.

I had a ton of fun constructing this piece and I hope that you enjoyed the read!

Breakdown below:

a) koru- unfurling fern head: growth, breath, life.
b) ka’ake- upraised arm: strength, also supports the growth of the koru.
c) niho- tooth: this line of niho represents family and is protective to keep danger at bay.
d) mata- eye: these are the eyes of the entire entity, looking out for danger.
e) mata- eye: these are the eye of the upper portion, which is a tattoo worn by the entity to protect the entire tattoo.
f) manu- bird: this speaks of this faith, his desire to be a pilot and acts a symbol of guidance as he moves forward in life.
g) ani ata- the horizon: these symbols represent his ancestors as the help to guide him in life.
h) matau- fish hook: this speaks of his love of the sea.

This modern Marquesan and Maori piece is an overall protective piece, but like the shoulder piece that I did a few tattoos back, is contained in the profile of a mata hoata. It speaks about the bond that he has with his daughter and the imagery used shows is meant to protect and preserve their relationship as they move forward. This piece also has a tattoo to protect the overall intent, which is a warriors head/helmet that sits above the brow of the eyes.

a) siamutu – binding, using niho at the opposite ends of this paka and connecting them with a line, symbolizes his connection with his daughter.

b) niho – tooth, the three niho near the ankle protects the intention of the tattoo, while the row of niho running diagonally upwards forms the mouth of the mata hoata and is meant to protect from sin and also represent family.

c) ihu – nose, this is the nose of the mata hoata and symbolizes breath and life.

d)  mata – eye, this is the eye of the piece and is meant to look out for danger and to protect.

e) tiki koa – warrior image, this image is set atop the head of the mata hoata and is a tattoo for the overall tattoo, meant to protect.

f) koru – unfurling fern head, this symbolizes growth and life as she moves forward.

g) ama kopeka – dancing flame, this is meant to illuminate the path forward and adds to the efficacy of the tattoo by protecting it from breaking down.

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There’s a first time for everything! I was asked to do a Polynesian leg piece in water color style, something that I had never even considered before and this is how it turned out. The piece is in memory of her grandmother and is an homage to when she paddled out and spread her grandmothers ashes in the sea. The overall piece repeats the story twice: on a somewhat gloomy day she and her family paddled out into the bay as the sun was setting and it began to rain. When they stopped to spread her ashes the rain ceased and the sun broke through the clouds. Then a whale breached right next to them as the last of her grandmothers ashes fell into the sea. The symbols in the tattoo represent her grandmother, protection, life, family and the whale. I wanted the colors to mimic the sun setting on the darkened ocean. Done in modern Marquesan/Tahitian, Maori style. Some of the stencil is still visible on the top part. Super stoked with how it all turned out. Symbols also follow the Fibonacci sequence in terms of usage.

Breakdown:

a) koru – unfurling fern head, this symbolizes growth and life as she moves forward.

b) kohola – whale, this symbolizes a venerated ancestor as well as the spirit of the sea.

c) etua – venerated ancestor, this symbolizes her grandmother.

d) lauhala – pandanus weave, this woven symbol represents her ties to her grandmother and overall family unity.

e) niho – tooth, this protects the intention of the tattoo itself.

f) u’uhe – piece of turtle shell, this is to protect the wearer.

g) mata – eye, this is the eye of the piece and is meant to look out for danger and to protect.

I rarely do walk-ins but managed to fit this gentleman in and we had a blast. Mata hoata or brilliant eyes, are meant to protect from dangers both physical and mental. This is a profile rendering complete with teeth and koru at the top towards his chest for growth and prosperity in life.

Breakdown:

a) hope vehine (single) – this single image of the hope vehine is meant to symbolize the twin goddesses of tattoo, give protection and act as an interface for any subsequent piece that is added below it.

b) niho – tooth, the two niho at the bottom of this piece are there to protect the entire tattoo. Moving diagonally upwards from left to right, the larger niho with a dark band on the outside is meant to symbolize strength. The final set of niho form the mouth of the mata hoata and act to protect from sin and to also symbolize family.

c) ka’ake – upward raised arm, this symbol is meant to symbolize courage and strength.

d) puaika – ear, this is the ear of the mata hoata.

e) ihu – nose, this is the nose of the mata hoata and symbolizes breath and life.

f) mata – eye, this is the eye of the piece and is meant to look out for danger and to protect.

g) kape – eyebrow, this is the eyebrow of the piece and is meant to convey, intelligence, beauty and attention.

h) koru – unfurling fern head, this symbolizes growth and life as he moves forward.

 

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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