Thursday, May 22, 2008


This is another additional part of my Blog.

Every motif of a Samoan tattoo has a name and a meaning. Samoans have got the names of their tattooes from birds, objects, creatures, animals, fish and plants, as these were all useful to them in the past.

Some definitions of these are as follows:

* Faavaetuli - (the tuli's footprint) - the tuli was the bird of the supreme Atua, Tagaloalagi.
* Faaatualoa - (centipede) - believed to be one of a god of the past.
* Faalaupaogo - (panadus leaf) - one of the important plant to the Samoans.
* Faapepe - (butterfly) - one of a useful insect to the Samoans.
* Faagogo - (tern) - another important bird to the Samoans
* Faaupega - (net) - very useful for fishing - for Samoans everyday need.
* Faaanufe - (caterpillar) - a symbol of a new life to a Samoan man.
* Faasigano (male pandanus flower) worn by the Samoan young men for their pride to be real Samoans
* Faamulialiao (shellfish) - one of the most important shellfish to the Samoans

As mentioned before, many of the motifs also have symbolic meanings.

(1) The va'a (canoe) - a black strip about 20-30 cm wide across the back with faaulutao (known as arrow point) at both ends, going towards the front under the armpits, represents the aiga (family) which the wearer of the tatau must protect (with spears).

(2) Pula laiti - also known as tama'i pe'a, the young of the flying fox which she carries under her wings. The wearer of the tatau must protect and nourish his immediate family.

(3) Pula tele - the same principal of caring but for the whole extended family.

(4) Aso laiti - small lines on your sides which are secretly kept for decoration. A symbol of a sister of a young man to be respected and given first preference.

(5) Aso tali itu - other lines propping your sides to symbolise your relationships and accomplishments as a child.

(6) Aso faaifo - known as curved lines, signifying rank and your commitment to your father and mother's family.

(7) Faaila tatau - symbolic of your readiness to serve your family for the rest of your life.

Every Samoan tattoo has all those symbols even though there are different tattoo artists.

To view some of those motifs, visit this website please.

See you later.

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