The revival of Tongan traditional tattooing, Tatatau. Exploring historical elements, it's current resurgence, and it's future place in Tongan society.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tribes and Tribal Tattoos
The word "Tribal" has been used to describe island tattoos that are now in fashion. When referring to a Tongan or Samoan or most other Pacific Island tattoos, the word "Tribal" is incorrect. Referring to Islanders as living in 'tribes' is a racist notion used to separate people according to how civilized they are.
Tongans never lived in tribes and their tattooing practices weren't practiced within a tribal context, so do not refer to them as "tribal tattoos".