Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hawaiian Rune Tattoos

Like many other Polynesian-descended cultures, the native Hawaiians practiced tattooing. The most heavily tattooed members of the tribe would be the royal family, followed by other court officials and persons who were in the royal family by marriage.

The tattoo stencil applied to the skin...
Hawaiian Tattoos

The designs were monochromatic, tattooed in black against brown skin. The patterns and layout were strongly geometric and there were many shapes and symbols which represented the natural island world: stones, waves, fish, sharks, turtles, rain, sun, birds.

...and the finished product about a half an hour later!
Hawaiian Rune Tattoos

Tattoos were traditionally created by using a tool much like a sharpened rake to prick the designs. The tattoo tool would be hit by another stick to make the punctures. Assistants helped by stretching the skin for the tattoo artist and by wiping away the blood.

Here's my left wrist a few days later.
Hawaiian Rune Tattoo