Posts Tagged ‘the son of fire’

I did this tattoo yesterday. This person wanted a chest and shoulder piece that would tie into the Polynesian artwork that he already had, effectively completing the upper left side quadrant of his body. He chose symbols to represent his own story as well as those reflecting his family.

After more research I have decided that utilizing the Fibonacchi sequence (FS) in Ana’ole should not be confined to just the spirals of waves and/or plant structures. The intent behind using FS is to represent the mana (spiritual energy) in a given piece. I feel that the representation of mana is lacking in traditional Polynesian tattoo and because it is such an integral part of the Polynesian culture that it shouldn’t be left out. By using FS to represent mana makes sense because it is that which is used by nature to create anything from flowers, to shells to our own bodies. FS exists everywhere in nature; it is tangible but most importantly it is real and based in reality (at least the reality that we find ourselves in).

By definition mana is, as I have stated, spiritual energy. In Polynesian cultures, it exists in everything. Mana can also be acquired through birthright as well as warfare and some Poly cultures even believe that the level of mana one possesses represents that person’s power, authority and magical ability, for lack of a better word. However, the definition of the word also states that mana can also mean a branch or certain type of fern. Branches and ferns are also represented in FS, so in a sense, the concept of utilizing FS to represent mana is somewhat intrinsic to the definition of the word! I like it when things dovetail so nicely.

This brings me to my solution of how best to insert mana into a tattoo and not limiting it to the spirals of waves and plants as I mentioned above. What I realized is that it needed to have more of a presence, almost at the top of the hierarchy of the design itself. I did not want it to be the focal point but rather to work in unison with the piece and not compete with it. I also had to consider that natural representations of mana/FS are subtle, not overt; if you look you will find it, if you don’t, you simply appreciate the beauty of the object. So I came to the conclusion that the FS needed to be literal yet downplayed, blending in more than standing out, which is why my solution was to insert actual FS into the elements of the design.

Because the FS can go on forever, I decided to only utilize the sequence up to the number 21 but concentrated mainly on the sequence up to 5 and 8, since 8 divided by 5 is what gives the Golden Mean ratio of 1.6. I have also omitted 0 since it would be difficult to represent something artistically, which is, by definition, nothing.

FS follows a specific integer sequence, beginning with 0 and 1. Each subsequent number is a sum of the previous two numbers. The sequence goes like this:


By adding the first two numbers, 0 and 1 you get 1. So, adding 1 and 1 would give you 2. Adding 2 and 1 would give you 3. 3 and 2 would give you 5 and so on. That in a nutshell is the definition of the FS. This sequence is inherent in the Golden Mean if you begin to divide the numbers in this fashion 2/1, 3/2, 5/3, 8/5. The latter giving the GM ratio of 1.6.

Ok, it’s early, I get it, and math sucks, I get that too. I just wanted to explain myself so people could better understand my intent. Here is a link for those masochists who have nothing better to do on a Sunday:

Back to the tattoo.

If you look carefully at certain symbols within the tattoo itself, you will see the FS in such things as veins on leaves, spots on fish and plants, set into the niho mano (sharks teeth) etc. This is my solution, subtle yet apparent if you are looking for it.

Beginning from with his chest, starting from the bottom of his pec, moving upward we see a fishnet. This is because he likes to fish. Above that there are 2 negative space points moving toward each other which are the calm part of the ocean with the breaking waves directly above. Throwing a net into rough water is not the ideal way to catch fish and does little to extend the life of your net. To the right, next to his armpit are 3 Ti leaves with FS inserted into the leaf veins. Moving downward along the same paka, underneath the name “jodie” are 3 niho mano which are part of the island chain represented in sharks teeth, that continue toward the top of his shoulder (there are 8 islands in all). These also have FS inserted in the design. Up past the Ti leaves are a honeycomb pattern that is a nod to the Tahitian symbol for the sun setting on the water. It is a traditional symbol with a twist. Above that is the sun, and if you follow the paka toward his sternum you will see 3 aloe leaves that represent healing, again infused with FS. Above the sun is the rest of the island chain and above that, the paka includes a wave, a flower and the moon. Next to his collarbone are 5 stars for each member of his immediate family.

The shoulder cap, beginning from the top and moving downward you will see a branch of bamboo with 5 leaves. Under that are more 5 more niho mano again representing his family. Below that paka is a fish, an ulua to be exact with the FS apparent in its spots. Below that is a turtle shell, for protection. The triangles and big island I did not do.

I have set aside writing my follow up to The Son of Fire (Design of the Snow Goddess) to produce a reference book complete with definitions and illustrations of Ana’ole Polynesian Tattoo. It will go into detail about FS, the Golden Mean and how they pertain to Ana’ole. There will be over 100 symbols and definitions (currently I have completed 30 drawings). I hope to have it published in before wintertime comes. It is mainly to help me explain my style but will also be available online. This is hoping that the production and post-production go over without a hitch!

Thanks for reading my blog, now go and enjoy the rest of your day! Aloha nui!

As for the lack of recent posts all that I have to say is that beware When Life Attacks!
Seriously, I have been working like a madman on Design of the Snow Goddess and am half way through the first draft. Also car troubles have taken up my time since I do all my own repair work (I would rather work on a motorcycle any day). I will post something of near irrelevance in the upcoming days for the one or two of you who mistakenly stumble into this spiders web of narcissism.

Started on the second book, Design of the Snow Goddess yesterday, and it is coming along well. I’ve noticed that when I write, I cannot sleep at night. I’ve also realized that this is what I want to be doing. The strangest part about writing is that it makes time pass so quickly.

At any rate, I hope to have this one done in less time than the last one.

Disillusioned with humanity, Ka La decides to move back home to
Hawai’i to reconnect with his roots. He is soon visited by the
Goddess Pele, who informs him that his destiny is to cleanse the land
of those people who are unworthy to exist. Backed by the gods and
possessing a righteous spirit, Pele helps him to unleash his inner
power, but Ka La quickly discovers that the Goddess has other motives for helping him.

With some dialog written in Pidgin English and Hawaiian, this story is about one man’s journey of discovery,
righteousness, and murder.

334 pages • soft cover • available online at 13.95