If you really like cultural tattoo artwork, then there are a great many differing kinds to choose from but if you want one that is particularly apt then why not consider Tahitian tattoos as this is where the name actually originated. Tahitian Tattoos Tahiti is perhaps the best known of the French Polynesian islands and the practice off tattooing has existed there for centuries. The ancient art of making indelible marks on the human skin was referred to by the Tahitians as tatau which translates roughly as hitting something repeatedly and this is where the work tattoo actually originates.

While this practice had been widely ignored by those on the European continents in recent centuries, it was partly due to Captain Cook’s voyage here that it was rediscovered. Cook noted in his diary how he and his sailors embarked and found tribesmen with printed signs indelibly written which were referred to locally as tattow. The first Tahitian to travel to Europe gained instant fame due to the public’s fascination with his tattoos. Over the years that followed many sailors stopping in this part of the world would end up with Tahitian tattoos and similar designs are still being used for modern body art today. While body art is such a huge part of our social culture now, the original use of tattooing was for much more profound reasons than those in our modern society.

Tahitian Tattoos Many of the original designs were done to ward of evil spirits and to protect the wearer from harm or misfortune, however the markings were also used as a means of identifying the wearer’s status in hierarchical Tahitian society. Family clans could differentiate themselves with their markings and sex, rank and social status were also indicated. Young men were also tattooed as a rite of passage, around the age of twelve to mark their arrival into adulthood however after the arrival of missionaries to the area who converted the natives to Christianity this practice was prohibited. Popular ideas in the modern world off tattooing for this style of body art also include the Gods of Polynesian folklore in particular Ta’aroa and his two sons Mata Arhu and Tu Ra’i po.’ According to legend it was them who brought this decorative art to earth and taught it to humans in place of writing, of which there is none used in Polynesian culture. Thanks to its isolated geographical location, Tahitian tattoos were not affected by influences from other cultures and the artwork used today is not very different from that used by Polynesian tribes centuries ago. These symbols all have different meanings so you can choose one that reflects what you want to say about yourself.