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All About Leather Tattoo Art

An art that express one’s individuality is defined as a tattoo. An indication of status in the hierarchical society of the Polynesian culture is through use of tattoos. Identities, genealogy, personalities and the rank in the society are the various types of status. Polynesians consider tattoos to be more than an art as they are quite spiritual to them. There tattoos are symbolic as one can see picture representation of humans, animals, birds and flowers. Depending on the rank of a person in the society, geometric designs are drawn on a person and have different meanings. The tribal nature of the Polynesians doesn’t result to their tattoos being tribal tattoos.

Polynesians treat their tattoos with honor and respect while embracing their traditions and history. All the symbols of Polynesian tattoos are based on the elements of water, fire, earth and wind. The other symbol is the use of shells which represent peace and fertility. Wellness and peace are symbolized using turtle shells while sea shells represents protection and intimacy. Representation of courage and power is through the tattoo symbol of shark teeth.

Showing of courage and power by Polynesians is done by getting a tattoo of a full set of shark teeth. Adaptability and bravery is shown by getting multiple rows of shark teeth that is represented as patterns of triangles. The next tattoo symbol is a spearhead which represents the power of the individual. Courage and dominance are also represented by the tattoo symbol spearhead.

The sun tattoo symbolizes grandness and riches as the sun itself mostly symbolizes rebirth while its rays signify brilliance, eternity, brilliance and leadership. The final tattoo symbol of the Polynesian culture is the ocean which symbolizes the end destination or basically death. Not only is the ocean considered as the final destination by the Polynesians but also their source of food alongside with fertility and homeland of the ancestors. After injecting the skin with a needle that is made from shark teeth, bird bone, turtle shell and bamboo its then added ink formulated from plant-based liquid. The ink formulated from plant based liquid includes; candlenut oil, sugar cane juice and coconut milk.

In order for leather tattoo art to be a success the following is done planning and cleaning, applying design to the leather and practicing tattooing with other items. The first process being planning and cleaning is followed through by a sub step which is determining the design. A simple line drawing is done by those starting out in leather tattooing however an individual’s imagination is the limit.

The next sub step is to clean the surface of the leather by rubbing alcohol. Not only does the alcohol remove oil and grease from the leather but also sterilizes the leather. The next process is outlining the design on the leather in order to make a tracing guide by using stencil gel to transfer the design to the surface of the leather.
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