If you’re interested in one, here’s the list of the most common: Tats, Teutons, Samoan tattoos, or Taonga. These are some of the same meanings that are also used for tattoos and tattoos for Samoan people – to honor ancestors, or to express their culture. They’re also popular among the Samoan population, who like tattoo tattoos because they’re different than in the U.S. and the rest of the world. For more info, check out my article on the history-based Samoan tattoo story.
Samoan hair (top) is on display at Fijian Samoan Cultural Center in Hawaii, where the community makes and sells various hair extensions known as “bao.” Image via Facebook.
What’s it like to live on the Samoan islands? For most locals, the island culture of the Samoans is a distant past memory and a reminder of when they were living in Hawai’i and not the South Pacific. And this is the reason why I love the culture on the islands – it is almost a lost culture. It has an almost magical, mystical quality to it all, not to mention a great deal of great food, a great many great people, and an equally great sense of camaraderie. But the thing is we all know that life is hard. We know that our lives are not all sunshine and rainbows or sweet, sweet Samoans singing “I’m a Samoan.”
So what can we do with our new tattoos? First, we have to let them heal up a bit. I’ve got two that are still healing from all the work they’ve been put through. I’ve got a Samoan tattoo I learned of in 2007 that is supposed to represent a very important day in their lives – they’ve been told the significance of it by a relative and have had their arms tattooed out of course. It is only a few layers thick, and they’ve only started to get that little bit of time with it.
I’ve got another on my chest I came across in the ’90s of the ’80s. It says Ako Aromatik. The ’80s Samoan Aromatic Festival. I’m guessing they do a lot of those here.
So what about you? Let us know what you’d like to do with your tattoo.
To learn more about the Samoan Tattoo, check out my article on the history-based Samoan tattoo story.
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