Monday, December 1, 2014

Samoan Tatau

This term, the year 7 & 8 extension group have been learning and finding out about the history of pacific tattoos, especially the design of the tatau. We have been investigating what is on the tatau and how it has been designed. 

Last week Mr Tele'a visited us to show us his tatau. A tatau is a tattoo for men that represents or shows respect to your culture. Mr Tele'a showed us his legs and most of it is covered with the tattoo ink. It was sore for sure but he finished it. He got it because his brother was getting one and his brother needed support so he volunteered and got one with him, so all of his brothers got one.

He (Mr Tele'a) was not suppose to show his tatau unless it was all finished. Its disrespectful and you'll live in shame if haven't finished it. We asked "What is the most meaningful part of the tatau to you" and he said it was his belly button, because it was the last part of the tatau.

The tatau that was tattooed on to Mr Tele'a was all finished and the man that inked it put his signature on the bottom of the tatau. Tuifa'asisina Su'a was the man that did Mr Tele'a's tatau and he is a well known man in Samoa because of his tattoos. He has inked heaps of people and he is famous for that.

We learnt so much from this designed tattoo. There were so many parts of the tattoo and they were hard to memorise, but it was fun learning about it. There is also another tattooist named Sua Suluape, and he is one of the mains!

On every tatau there is a va'a, and its the start of it. The va'a is the very top part of the tatau, and Mr Tele'as va'a started very high, it means to protect your family. The belly button was the last part of the tatau and it a relief because all the pain was gone a little bit and it a a happy ending.

The most painfull part of the tatau

1. How many days did it take to do your tatau?
Mr Tele’a had 17 sessions

2. What helped you to cope with the pain.
He had a Soa and he was with his brothers

3. What inspired you to get the tattoo? 
He got it because his brother needed support so he got it with him.

4. Who did your tatau? 
Tuifa’asisina Su'a

1 comment:

  1. Talofa Iron.

    What a great piece of writing! Anyone who would be wanting to know about the Tatau would certainly be very well informed after reading your article.
    Thank you for taking interest in my story and for also being a great audience.
    I was a bit nervous at first but you all put me at ease with some very thoughtful questions.
    Keep striving to succeed!
    Malo le tauivi!
    Alofa tele atu,
    Mr Tele'a


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