The practice of tattooing evolved over time throughout ancient Polynesia, but it was on the islands of Tonga and Samoa that it became the incredible art that it is today. Intricate geometrical patterns were created, embellished upon and expanded over the life of a Tongon or Samoan until extensive areas or even their entire bodies were covered!

Samoan warriors were tattooed from the waist to below the knee in a dizzying array of designs, while Tongon warriors had a similar appearance. In both cultures, warriors held a special status in society.

Chieftains were also extensively tattooed. As with Maori culture, tattoos were major status symbols, and one's wealth and status were easily revealed by how much ink they bore.  




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