The Tatau, or the tattoo, originates from the Polynesian island of Samoa and this year is the 5th Samoan Tatau Festival. The event will be held on the 30 May until the 7 June and will commemorate the 2,000 year history of the craft.
Unlike anywhere in the world, Samoa has a deep and long standing connection with tattooing. The legend tells a tale of how two sisters sang about wanting a Tatau and from then on, the Samoan tradition was born. Women wear a Malu tattoo (the female Tatau): a linear and horizontal motif stretching from their knees to hips that attains something beyond simple ornamentation.
The Pe’a, the male Tatau starts at the knees and continues to the waist. It remains symmetrical like the Malu but has a more flexuous, geometric theme. Tatau’s are worn by many Samoans as an open expression of their cultural and spiritual heritage. Elaborately designed, a Tatau can take weeks to complete.
Although the Tatau has evolved, the process, design and meaning remains unchanged and today Samoa is the only Polynesian island to continue the tradition. The Samoan Annual Tatau Festival provides a special insight into the unique history and culture of the islands. It is a must-see event.
2012 is the year to Celebrate Samoa as the nation marks its Golden Jubilee year, celebrating its 50th Year of Independence with a bustling calendar of events.
For further information on Samoa contact the Samoa Tourism Authority UK Office