Samoan tattoo patterns are highly meaningful to those of that culture, and that is something we can grasp just be looking at a Samoan tattoo, even without knowing what its precise meaning is. The tattoo patterns and symbols are complex and abstract, consisting of a lot of interlocked, interwoven shapes and patterns.
As mentioned before, they are also remarkable because of the sheer expanse of skin that they occupy – and especially when the tattooing is done using the traditional methods, this is a real endurance test for the person being tattooed. Instead of needles, the skin is punctured using a pig’s tooth or shark’s tooth.
Not finishing a tattoo once it is started is a source of shame.
Though few of us would be willing to undergo the discomfort necessary to get real Polynesian tattoos, incorporating some of the symbols and patterns into a modern tattoo is a different matter. Polynesian tattoos certainly have a striking, timeless appeal.