Honouring heritage


I’m a thirty-year-old male who is looking into getting their first tattoo. I have rather dark skin due to my Polynesian background so I have heard that it sometimes can be hard for people of my complexion to get a really nice and intrinsic tattoo with heaps of bold colours. This is probably why it’s rare to see people with darker skin have tattoos. That’s not to say we don’t get tattoos, it’s just that it’s more uncommon. I originate from Samoan descent and I am considering getting a tribal tattoo inspired by my roots. I just need to find a tattooist specialising in tribal tattoos. As this tattoo is a tribute to my ancestry and heritage I really want to make sure that the artwork itself looks legitimate and of high quality.

The traditional Samoan tribal tattoo will often feature a type of creature within an abundance of geometric patterns. The art is usually all painted in black and sits nicely on the tanned skin of a Samoan person. A lot of my brothers and cousins have their Samoan tattoos and I think it is about time I get mine. Given that it is my first tattoo, and it will have a lot of fine detail, I am a bit concerned about how I will cope with the pain. I’m someone who hates needles and visiting the doctor to get immunisations, so I’m hoping that getting tattooed will be a very different kind of sensation. I think my biggest concern with the tattoo is fear. Fear that it won’t turn out right and fear that it will hurt. This is when I need to realise that I just need to trust my tattooist. Brisbane has many Samoan and Polynesian folk who have gone and gotten tattooed by the same artist. This artist has seemed to perfectly execute the artwork every single time so I think they might very well become my go-to person. I’m not sure if I’ll get any more tattoos after this. I’ll see how I go.