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1
GETTING MY PE
GETTING MY PE'A DONE IN GLEN EDEN
::2009/10/03::
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2
Traditional Samoan Pe
Traditional Samoan Pe'a, Tatau (Tattoo)
::2012/06/15::
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3
Samoan Pe
Samoan Pe'a (Tattoo)
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4
Arman
Arman's Pe'a done 02-07-11
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5
Pacific Beat St Ep 131 - The Samoan Tattoo (Pe
Pacific Beat St Ep 131 - The Samoan Tattoo (Pe'a)
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Pauga ta
Pauga ta'i Logoipule - Pe'a
::2012/02/06::
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The Very Organized Thief - MALING PE
The Very Organized Thief - MALING PE'A
::2013/12/15::
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8
Pe
Pe'a Ceremonial Siva lol
::2010/01/09::
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9
Minecraft PE "A New World" 0.9.0 Update (Minecraft Pocket Edition Series)
Minecraft PE "A New World" 0.9.0 Update (Minecraft Pocket Edition Series)
::2014/07/16::
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Alexandru Bradatan -  Codrule pe-a ta carare
Alexandru Bradatan - Codrule pe-a ta carare
::2013/08/01::
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Adeaze - Pe A Faia Le Vala
Adeaze - Pe A Faia Le Vala'auga
::2011/11/17::
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Siman PE
Siman PE'A - Gosok Gigi Pake Sabun Colek
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Siman PE
Siman PE'A - Mandi Di Kali Di Intip Prawan Jilbab
::2014/03/28::
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Kimie
Kimie' and Kalani Pe'a cover La Kahakai by Mailani
::2012/02/10::
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Grup din Dorohoi - Adeseori pe a ta cale
Grup din Dorohoi - Adeseori pe a ta cale
::2014/01/03::
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U.PE A/L Exam Song (Official HD Video) From www.Mist.lk
U.PE A/L Exam Song (Official HD Video) From www.Mist.lk
::2011/11/18::
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Cântece pionierești-Presărați pe a lor morminte
Cântece pionierești-Presărați pe a lor morminte
::2009/04/24::
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Jorge González en De Pe a Pa 2000 P1 Entrevista
Jorge González en De Pe a Pa 2000 P1 Entrevista
::2009/07/08::
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Grupul Speranta "Adeseori pe a ta cale"
Grupul Speranta "Adeseori pe a ta cale"
::2012/03/27::
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Alexandru Brădățan - Codrule pe-a ta cărare ...
Alexandru Brădățan - Codrule pe-a ta cărare ...
::2013/05/02::
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21
Angel - Pe a lobi de
Angel - Pe a lobi de
::2010/11/14::
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22
Stefan Kramer - Marcelo Salas en de PE A PA
Stefan Kramer - Marcelo Salas en de PE A PA
::2009/03/04::
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Stefan Kramer - Julio Martinez ( JM ) en de PE A PA
Stefan Kramer - Julio Martinez ( JM ) en de PE A PA
::2009/03/12::
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Los Tres - Tu Cariño Se Me Va (De Pe A Pa 2000)
Los Tres - Tu Cariño Se Me Va (De Pe A Pa 2000)
::2011/03/24::
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Pe a susulu - Sam Feo
Pe a susulu - Sam Feo
::2009/12/12::
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Minecraft PE - A Castle for the King - Ep 01 : Découverte
Minecraft PE - A Castle for the King - Ep 01 : Découverte
::2013/04/03::
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Jalak Pe
Jalak Pe'a vs si Boy
::2014/07/04::
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Glória a Deus nas alturas - Pe. A. Cartageno
Glória a Deus nas alturas - Pe. A. Cartageno
::2013/02/25::
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PE A GOLGOTEI - MAGDA PUSKAS
PE A GOLGOTEI - MAGDA PUSKAS
::2014/03/14::
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U9-1 Southern Pe
U9-1 Southern Pe'a 2013
::2013/11/02::
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De Pe a Pa Moda Infantil
De Pe a Pa Moda Infantil
::2012/11/15::
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08 - RAPSUSKLEI - K-SIO-PE-A
08 - RAPSUSKLEI - K-SIO-PE-A
::2011/10/23::
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Biserica Baptistă
Biserica Baptistă ''Biruinţa'' Baia Mare - Estera Rusu - Când vom intra pe-a tale porţi - 30.06.2013
::2013/06/30::
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Alexandru Brădăţan - CODRULE, PE-A TA CĂRARE alături de "Busuioc Moldovenesc" din CHIȘINĂU
Alexandru Brădăţan - CODRULE, PE-A TA CĂRARE alături de "Busuioc Moldovenesc" din CHIȘINĂU
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Ae dil mujhe bata de Tu kis pe a gaya he
Ae dil mujhe bata de Tu kis pe a gaya he
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Muzica crestina - Cand sunt in lupta pe-a mea cale [C244].mpg
Muzica crestina - Cand sunt in lupta pe-a mea cale [C244].mpg
::2011/09/15::
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Popas pe-a timpului carare..
Popas pe-a timpului carare..
::2012/04/25::
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38
Tinerii FRBC Arizona - Ma aflam pe a mea carare
Tinerii FRBC Arizona - Ma aflam pe a mea carare
::2013/08/13::
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Part 1 of 2 Tatau special Tagata Pasifika TVNZ 26 Jan 2012
Part 1 of 2 Tatau special Tagata Pasifika TVNZ 26 Jan 2012
::2012/01/26::
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40
Moda Infantil Verano 2014 De Pe a Pa
Moda Infantil Verano 2014 De Pe a Pa
::2014/05/23::
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41
GETTING MY PE
GETTING MY PE'A IN SAMOA
::2012/07/03::
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42
CAND VOM INTRA PE-A TALE PORTI DE AUR
CAND VOM INTRA PE-A TALE PORTI DE AUR
::2010/09/22::
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Grupul Eben Ezer Cind vom intra pe a tale porti de Aur Biserica Elim Arganda Madrid  15 12 2013
Grupul Eben Ezer Cind vom intra pe a tale porti de Aur Biserica Elim Arganda Madrid 15 12 2013
::2014/04/17::
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44
The Aiga Band Tack6 "Sisiva Pe
The Aiga Band Tack6 "Sisiva Pe'a"
::2013/10/26::
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45
The Wedding of Kainoa and Hilary Pe
The Wedding of Kainoa and Hilary Pe'a
::2014/03/05::
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46
Pe a mavae le ola
Pe a mavae le ola
::2009/10/06::
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3 PE
3 PE'A bola cinta goal
::2014/04/26::
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SCUC Mangere Pe
SCUC Mangere Pe'a e sau & Look what the Lord
::2013/08/26::
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PE$A - THOT - (Prod. by G.K.)
PE$A - THOT - (Prod. by G.K.)
::2014/03/22::
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GONZALO DEL ROSARIO - ENTREVISTA DE PE A PA - UCV SATELITAL
GONZALO DEL ROSARIO - ENTREVISTA DE PE A PA - UCV SATELITAL
::2012/10/04::
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Pe'a, Samoan male tattoo

The Pe'a is the popular name of the traditional male tattoo of Samoa, which was originally called the malofie,[1] a term used in the Samoan language chiefly vocabulary and 'respect' register (gagana fa'aaloalo).

Description[edit]

The pe'a covers the body from waist to the knees. The word tattoo in the English language is believed to have originated from the Polynesian word tatau.

The tatau process for the pe'a is extremely painful,[2] and undertaken by tufuga ta tatau (master tattooists), using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. The tufuga ta tatau are revered masters in Samoan society. In Samoan custom, a pe'a is only done the traditional way, with aspects of cultural ceremony and ritual, and have a strong meaning for the one who receive it. The tufuga ta tatau works with one or two assistants, often apprentice tattooists, who stretch the skin and wipe the excess ink and generally support the tattooist in their work. The process takes place with the subject lying on mats on the floor with the tattooist and assistants beside them. The assistants to the tattooists are referred to as the solo, a Samoan word describing the act of wiping the blood off the skin. Family members of the person getting the tattoo are often in attendance at a respectful distance to provide words of encouragement, sometimes through song. The pe'a can take less than a week to complete or in some cases, years.

The ink colour is black. The tattoo starts on the back and finishes on the belly button. Overall, the design is symmetrical with a pattern consisting mainly of straight lines and larger blocks of dark cover, usually around the thighs. Some art experts have made a comparison between the distinctive Samoan tattoo patterns to other artforms including designs on tapa cloth and Lapita pottery.[3]

Traditional Samoan tattooing of the pe'a, body tattoo, is an ordeal that is not lightly undergone. It takes many weeks to complete, is very painful and used to be a necessary prerequisite to receiving a matai title; this however is no longer the case. Tattooing was also a very costly procedure, the tattooer receiving in the region of 700 fine mats as payment. It was not uncommon for half a dozen boys to be tattooed at the same time, requiring the services of four or more tattooers. It was not just the men who received tattoos, but the women too, although their designs are of a much lighter nature, resembling a filigree rather than having the large areas of solid dye which are frequently seen in men's tattoos. Nor was the tattooing of women as ritualised as that of the men.[4]

Lama[edit]

Better known by its Hawaiian name, "kukui," the oily kernel of the husked candlenut, known in Samoan as "tuitui" or "lama," is burned and the black soot collected is used as the color base for the traditional ink used in Samoan tattooing. The modern tufuga artists utilize commercially produced inks that comply with international tattoo regulations and local health safety codes.

Societal significance[edit]

Samoan males with a pe'a are called soga'imiti and are respected for their courage. Untattooed Samoan males are colloquially referred to as telefua or telenoa, literally "naked." Those who begin the tattooing ordeal but do not complete it due to the pain, or more rarely the inability to adequately pay the tattooist, are called pe'a mutu, a mark of shame.[5] The traditional female tattoo in Samoa is the malu. In Samoan society, the pe'a and the malu are viewed with cultural pride and identity as well as a hallmark of manhood and womanhood.

Tatau is an ancient Polynesian artform which is associated with the rites of passage for men. Pe'a is also the Samoan word for the flying fox (fruit bat, Pteropus samoensis), and there are many Polynesian myths, proverbs and legends associated with this winged creature.[5] One legend from the island of Savai'i is about Nafanua, Samoa's goddess of war, rescued by flying foxes when she was stranded on an inhospitable island.[5]

Origins[edit]

In Polynesia, the origins of tattoo is varied. Samoa credit Fiji as the source of the tatau, the Fijians credit the Samoans, and the Māori of New Zealand credit the underworld.[5]

In Samoan mythology the origin of the tatau in Samoa is told in a myth about twin sisters Tilafaiga and Taema who swam from Fiji to Samoa with a basket of tattoo tools. As they swam they sang a song which said only women get tattooed. But as they neared the village of Falealupo on the island of Savai'i, they saw a clam underwater and dived down to get it. When they emerged, their song had changed, the lyrics now saying that only men get the tattoo and not women. This song is known in Samoa as the Pese o le Pe'a or Pese o le Tatau.[5]

Back view of Samoan male with pe'a, c. 1890s, photo by Thomas Andrew

The word tatau has many meanings in Samoa. means to strike, and in the case of tattooing, the tap tap sound of the tattooist's wooden tools. Tau means to reach an end, a conclusion, as well as war or battle. Tatau also means rightness or balance. It also means to wring moisture from something, like wet cloth, or in the case of the pe'a process, the ink from the skin. Tata means to strike repeatedly or perform a rhythm. For example, tātā le ukulele means 'play the ukulele.'

Implements[edit]

The tools of the tufuga ta tatau comprise a set of serrated bone combs (au), which were lashed to small tortoise shell fragments which were in turn lashed to a short wooden handle; a tapping mallet (sausau) for driving the combs into the skin; coconut shell cups ("ipuniu") to mix and store the tattooing ink ("lama") made from burnt candlenut soot; and lengths of tapa cloth ("solo") used to wipe blood and clean tools.[6] The tools are traditionally stored in a cylindrical wooden container called "tunuma" which are lined with tapa cloth and designed to hold the 'au vertically with the delicate combs facing the center of the cylinder to prevent damage. The "sausau" mallet was shaped from a length of hardwood approximately as long as the forearm and about the diameter of the thumb. Various sizes of "au" combs were painstakingly fashioned by filing sections of boar tusk with tiny abrasive files knapped from volcanic flint, chert, and/or basalt rock.[7] The smallest combs, used to make dots ("tala"), are aptly called 'au fa'atala, or 'au mono. Single lines of varying widths were tapped with various sizes of 'au sogi, while the solid blocks of tattooing were accomplished with the 'au tapulu.

Tattooing Guild[edit]

The prestigious role of master tattooist (tufuga ta tatau) has been maintained through hereditary titles within two Samoan clans, the Sa Su'a (matai) family from Savai'i and the Sa Tulou'ena (matai) family of Upolu.[8] In ancient times the tufuga ta tatau were elevated to high social status, wealth, and legendary prestige due to their crucial roles in Samoan society. It is known that Samoan tufuga also performed tattooing for Tongan and Fijian paramount chiefly families. The late Sua Sulu'ape Paulo II was a well known tufuga ta tatau whose life and work features in the photography of New Zealander Mark Adams. His brother Su'a Suluape Petelo who lives and carries out Samoan tattooing at Faleasi'u village in Upolu, is one of the most respected master tattooists today. Tufuga ta tatau from these ʻaiga (families), were designated in their youth and underwent extensive apprenticeships in the role of solo and tattooist assistants for many years, under their elder tufuga.

The traditional art of tattoo in Samoa was suppressed with the arrival of English missionaries and Christianity in the 1830s.[5] However, it was perpetuated throughout the colonial era and was continually practiced in its intact form into the modern age.[5] This was not the case, however, in the other Polynesian islands, and the master tattooists of the Su'a Sulu'ape family have been instrumental in the revival of traditional tattooing in French Polynesia, Tonga, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, and Hawai'i, where a new generation of Pacific tattooists have learned the Samoan techniques and protocols.

In popular culture[edit]

An early documentation of the pe'a on film is seen in Moana, directed by American Robert J. Flaherty and filmed in Safune on the island of Savai'i. The film shows the young hero Moana undergoing a tattoo for his pe'a. The pe'a also figures centrally in the 2007 film The Tattooist, as well as in documentaries.

Non-Samoans and the Pe'a[edit]

It is extremely rare for non-Samoans to receive the pe'a or the malu. Tongan nobility of the Tu'i Kanokupolu dynasty established the practice of pe'a tattooing among Tongan aristocracy in the pre-contact era. There are stories of Tongan royalty, Tu'i Tonga Fatafehi Fakauakimanuka and King George Tupou I of Tonga, traveling to Samoa to undergo the ritual under Samoan tufuga ta tatau. European beachcombers and runaway sailors were the first non-Polynesians to receive the pe'a during the early 1800s; among the earliest non-Polynesians to receive the pe'a was an American named Mickey Knight, as well as a handful of European convicts of ill-repute.[9] During the colonial era when Samoa fell under German rule, several Europeans underwent the pe'a ritual, including Englishman Arthur Pink, Erich Schultz (the last German governor of Samoa), and a number of German colonial officials.[10][11][12] In more recent times other non-Samoan men have become soga'imiti, including Noel Messer, Rene Persoons and artist Tony Fomison, (1939–1990), one of New Zealand's foremost painters, who received a pe'a in 1979. It is also known that several women, such as Karina Persoons, received a pe'a from tufuga Su'a Sulu'ape Petelo.[13]

Lyrics Pese o le Tatau song[edit]

It is known that the last verse was written in modern times, as it does not match the orthography of the first verses. Oral tradition maintains that this song is derived from a pre-colonial chant.

Tattooist, tufuga ta tatau, (left) and assistant (right) tattooing a man's back, c 1895, photo by Thomas Andrew

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Samoan tatau (tattooing) - Collections Online - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa". Collections.tepapa.govt.nz. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  2. ^ "Pe‘a tattooing – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Teara.govt.nz. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  3. ^ Mick Prendergrast, Roger Neich (2004). Pacific Tapa. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-8248-2929-8. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Tattoos". Samoa. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g [1], Encyclopedia of body adornment, Part 46 By Margo DeMello, p.213
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ Te Rangi Hiroa, "Samoan Material Culture," p. 637
  8. ^ "NZEPC - Albert Wendt - Tatauing the Post - Colonial Body". Nzepc.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  9. ^ Sean Mallon, "Samoan Art and Artists," p. 111)
  10. ^ Arnold Safroni-Middleton, "Sailor and Beachcomber," 1915
  11. ^ Misa Telefoni Retzlaff, "An Enduring Legacy - The German Influence in Samoan Culture and History"
  12. ^ Sean Mallon, p. 111
  13. ^ Amy Skrine, "Mark Adams' Pe'a Exhibition and Tattoo," Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies 4(2):95-98

External references[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • McLean M, D'Souza A. (2011) Life-threatening cellulitis after traditional Samoan tattooing ; Aust N Z J Public Health. 2011 Feb; 35(1):27-9. Epub 2011 Jan 13 (abstract).
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