Tattoos throughout history have been used by many cultures over the centuries such as Polynesia, Egypt, Japan, China, New Zealand, and Indonesia just to name a few. The word tattoo is said to have two major derivations-from the Polynesian word ‘ta’ which means striking something, and the Tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means ‘to mark something.’
The history of the tattoo began over 5000 years ago, and is as diverse as the people who wear them today. Some people mark their bodies with flowers, peace signs, and/or quotes because they think its cool. While others do it in memory of a deceased family member or to memorialize a relationship.
I've seen some really good body art and also some very bad. I personally haven't had any tattoos done, but it's not because I didn't wanted one. It's just that for me, the marking has to have significant meaning before I'd consider getting inked.
My favorite are the tribal tattoos like the one adorned on the very muscled arm of my beautiful Samoan friend above who by the way gave me permission to post his lovely pic. I recently asked him about his tats and if they had any meaning to him. He explained that the design represents his family name.
In my research I discovered that tattoos, or pe'a, demonstrate the strong ties many Samoans feel for their culture. Samoans have practiced the art of tattooing both men and women for over 2,000 years. To this day, a man's tattoo extensively cover them from mid-back, down the sides and flanks, to the knees. In Samoan culture, the tradition of applying tattoo, or ‘tatau’, by hand, has long been defined by rank and title, with chiefs and their assistants, descending from notable families in the proper birth order. The tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, typically conducted at the onset of puberty, were elaborate affairs and were a key part of their ascendance to a leadership role. The permanent marks left by the tattoo artists would forever celebrate their endurance and dedication to cultural traditions. So for a Samoan male it isn't about looking cool. Their tats represent heritage and family which I find extremely sexy.
Today's tattoos are becoming more and more accepted in American culture which wasn't always the case in the past. Tribal art on young guys is also extremely popular. I must admit when I see these types of tats displayed on someone who isn't of Polynesian or Samoan ancestry like my buddy above, I often wonder if they understand the meaning behind it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not passing judgment but I am curious. Of course everyone is entitled to do what they want to their body.
One of my author friends Lea Barrymire does a 'Tattoo Tuesday' blog which I happen to really enjoy. Most of the males she posts have very nice body art, as well as very nice bods. LOL
Recently, I wrote a book called Shadows of Night wherein my protagonist has a very intricate tribal tattoo that wraps around his arm and shoulder. I must admit I had a lot of fun researching tattoos in preparation for writing that scene. Especially when the heroine gets her first glimpse of it and the naughty thoughts that run through her mind. Teehee....
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Tell me if you're a fan of body art, and if so, why. I know I definitely am. Can you blame me.
Happy reading everyone.....
Erin Simone, Author