Samoa Tattoos Inetegral Part of Samoan Culture

The Samoa Tattoos are an integral part of the Samoan culture and has been in use for a long time. The Samoans have been practicing the art of tattooing on both men and women for more than two thousand years and it is still in vogue. The traditional Samoa tattoo is called as p’ea and is a long process which is very hard to go through. The whole procedure is thought to be an ordeal which not everyone of Samoa would like to undergo. If you go for a visit to Samoa you will certainly come across people of Samoa sporting a tattoo.
The Samoan tattoos take a lot of time for completion for example weeks and the process is also very painful. Earlier having a tattoos signified the fact that the person concerned would get the ‘matai’ title but this is no longer in practice. Initially tattoos were very costly and the tattooer the person who did the tattoo got 700 fine mats as payment. It was not unusual that half a dozen boys would get tattooed at the same time but it only required around 4 or more tattooers for doing that job. The women also sported tattoos but the procedure used to be less elaborate owing to the fact that their designs were much lighter requiring less time only resembling a filigree instead of the large areas of solid dye which could be seen on men. Some of the implements used in tattooing are autapulu, ausogi’asa tele, ausogi’asa laititi, aurnogo, sausau, tuluma, ipulama and tu’i, all of which are commonly found in this region.
The tattooing of men were very ritualistic as songs would be sung with tabus being placed on all those who were undergoing the process. Though the first Europeans were of the opinion that the tattooing had some religious significance but the anthropologists were in not in favor of this. But there is an interesting thing to note about it that all the animal motifs which were used in tattoos were actually considered as sacred by many families of Samoa.

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