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Tattoo News - January 2012

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you all a happy, healthy & prosperous new year!


Tattoo Odyssey, a Smithsonian video featuring photographer Chris Rainer is online at

A good list of videos links and clips on Polynesian tattooing provided by our friend Michael is online at

A seemingly unusual venue for a tattoo conference, The Vatican University recently held a conference with panel discussions on tattoo-- largely historic in focus. A good write up about the event is at

Every few years there is a fantastic festival of Marquesan arts and culture. This past December it was held on the island on Nukuhiva. Some photos and a nice summary of the event are posted at


A brief history of tattoos is posted at It's a decent overview, but very brief. But how could one capture the history of the art worldwide in just a simple webpage? A better overview can be found in Steve Gilbert's Tattoo History Source Book, which is still available in limited quantities on Another excellent compilation of papers (many focusing on tattooing in the Pacific) is Arnold Rubin's Marks of Civilization which is also available on Amazon. Both are well worth owning for anyone with an interest in the history of tattoo.

A wonderful new book that fills a much needed niche in the world of Polynesian tattoo is Patterns of the Past-- Tattoo Revival in the Cook Islands by Therese Mangos and John Utanga. Until now, information on the tattoo traditions of the Cook Islands was scant. Patterns of the Past provides a good compilation of the early historical documentation and illustrations, as well as excellent photos and commentary on the tattoo practices today in the Cook Islands and by Cook Islanders elsewhere. There are stunning photographs by Kirsty Griffin throughout-- not only tattoos, but the scenery of the Islands, tapa, weaving, wood carving and various other arts. In addition to the photos, line drawings appear throughout the text of the individual motifs and forms, and in many cases, provide the meanings of the designs or an interpretation of the symbolism and function. This book is a critical addition to any library on the art of Polynesian tattoo. Buy direct from the authors at

Maori Art and Design by Julie Paama-Pengelly Is an excellent overview of Maori arts in general, including moko (tattoo). Not only does she include a thorough discussion of the motifs and their various uses in different medium (wood carving, painting, architecture, tattoo and weaving) but also the raw materials utilized. This well-illustrated book gives a good deal of insight into the cultural context of the various forms as well as their meaning and symbolism. Julie is a cultural practitioner-- an accomplished tattooist and artist, which gives her insight into the application and significance of the designs. This is well worth a read for anyone interested in Maori culture and arts, not only tattoo. Although I always advocate buying books direct from the author whenever possible, those of us in the States and elsewhere can purchase on Amazon.

I'm happy to announce that my book The Polynesian Tattoo Today is now in its third Printing in just over a year. If you are contemplating purchasing it, please buy direct from my website at If you are placing an international order please use the e-mail link on the right-hand side for a shipping quote as the PayPal link is for shipping within the US only. Shipping costs vary from country to country, so tell me where you are and I can e-mail you a PayPal invoice for credit card purchases.

>>>><<< UPCOMING SCHEDULE >>><<<<

Jan 5th - 12th: Lahaina, Maui
Jan 15th - Feb 18th: Home on O'ahu and available to tattoo.
Late Feb - March: Sydney and Auckland
Late March - mid-April: Home on O'ahu
mid-April - early June: San Francisco, LA and Oceanside
mid-June: Home on O'ahu (10 days only)
late June: Albuquerque -World History Assoc. Conference
early July- late August: San Francisco area, LA & Oceanside

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, you can reach me at (808) 734-8677 or e-mail me at , although I far prefer the phone for initial contacts as there is a lot to discuss & I talk far faster than I type. I am available while on O'ahu or while in California. On the mainland, it is necessary to sign up in advance. My deadline to sign up for the next CA trip is March 1st for guaranteed appointments, although there are already quite a few folks with deposits in and I do give priority in scheduling according to the date of deposits. Also, by signing up early it allows us more time to create a custom design for you. See for details. If you are a new client, reading the FAQ as well as the SCHEDULE link will be beneficial.

Aloha, Tricia

Copyright © 1999 - 2010 Tricia Allen