Traditional Hawaiian tattoos are becoming more and more popular because people realize that they are rich in cultural history. Getting one says a lot about your attitude towards the culture. We all can appreciate the beauty of Hawaiian people and beaches. If we look back at the history of tattoos, they used to be called Kakau by the locals. As with tattoos in other cultures, Hawaiians also used this art to express their identity.
It was drawn mostly in black, which is understandable because it’s hard to obtain other colors back in the day. The ink was created from ash and soot, pretty self-explanatory of why the color was black. Traditional Hawaiian tattoos are a great representation of the culture. They depict what the style is supposed to be presented. The style is all about black and big. People wore the art with great pride because every tattoo held a story of its owner.
Another thing you need to know is getting this tattoo used to be a painful process. Nowadays we can just mimic the style without having to experience what people were going through to have one tatted up on their skin. Thanks to the influence of the western culture, Hawaiian tattoos are now more diverse in their colors and designs. It’s a good idea to stick to the original theme, but there’s nothing wrong with incorporating modern elements. If it was all about geometric shapes, you can be more flexible with the design.
Where to put traditional Hawaiian tattoos
Remember that placement also mattered. If you want to stay true to its roots, then take notes from how the people wore their tattoos. The women usually placed the art on their feet, calves, hands, and fingers. Another common area was the face. Facial tattooing is a bit too extreme for some because it’s too obtrusive. The hardest decision is probably to have this kind of tattoo. You can make a sketch before inking your face. The face is a pretty small area, you don’t have to go with full-face painting. Instead, you can pick the cheek, chin, or else.
To create an authentic Hawaiian tattoo, it has to be considerably big. That’s because the purpose was more for identification rather than celebration. As we all know, some culture-related tattoos don’t put emphasis on size, but this one does. Therefore, if you want to have one, it should occupy a broad surface that people can notice it from afar. When it comes to meanings, Hawaiians regard some objects as sacred such as geckos and sharks, so the message depends on the design.