TATTOO SHOW : Tattoo Hunter - Hawaiian

Lars Krutak journeys to Hawaii's Makaha Beach to live and learn about the culture of the Watermen of Waiʻanae on the island of Oahu.

Hawaiian tattoo needles were traditionally made from birds' beaks and claws, carved bone or tortoiseshell, or sharp spines from certain kinds of fish. The tool was completed by attaching one or more of these needles to a wooden handle. The needles were dipped in ink, positioned over the skin and hit with a mallet to puncture it, depositing the pigment beneath the surface.

 

The word "tatau" originates from the repeated tapping sound made in the tattooing process. According to Betty Fullard-Leo's article on Hawaiian tattoos, one of the most commonly used inks was made by mixing the ashes of burnt candlenut with juices from coconuts or sugar cane.

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