Tatau vs Tattoo; Two Categories of the same art form:
Tatau as many of you may already know, is an ancient word for tattoo. Rather that might be called the most basic way of looking at it. It would seem that today, the word has taken on a new meaning. Today Tatau might be said to be a signify-er of a whole category of tattoos. A category that looks more to cultural tradition, than to modern individuality.
Tatau, is a sacred form of tattooing, especially to the people of Polynesia and Hawaii. It is not something that is neither given nor gotten on a whim. Tatau are all about honoring your ancestry and the culture of your people.
Often it is also done with ancient methods, so as to “purify” the experience even further. This is not something exclusive to Polynesia. You see this form of tattooing becoming more popular all over the world, from Japan to Greenland.
Perhaps it can be argued, that despite having differing names in their native tongues. That these are all tattoo styles that fall into the category of Tatau, rather than tattoo. Do keep in mind though, that these 2 differing kinds of tattooing, are not (normally at least) adverse to each other. They can easily co-exist. But it is good that we have people keep the ancient traditions alive, so we may know our history and people can honor their culture (if they wish).
Tatau vs Tattoo, perhaps it should rather have been an and tattoo. But non the less, both the forms of tattooing exist today and they are equally awesome, for each their own reasons. So no matter what you are a fan of, whether it is the cultural tradition of Tatau or it is the creative modernity of tattooing, we hope you enjoy your ink.