November 23, 2015
Tattoos tap tracks into tradition
Tattoo artists from around the world were at the Indigenous Ink convention in Auckland over the weekend celebrating the moko traditions they share and the directions the art is heading.
Hawaiian Keone Nunes says reviving traditional practices is a way to celebrate heritage and offers a key into a greater understanding of a culture.
While some of his knowledge came from talking with his elders who still remembered something of the old ways, the actual skill of tapping into flesh with traditional chisels was learned from an Auckland-based Samoan tatau artist, the late Sulu’ape Paulo.
"I started tattooing in 1990 with a machine because I did not have a teacher who could teach me how to tap, and so it wasn’t until I met him in 1996 that I started learning and in 1999 I made a conscious decision to put away the machines and just work with traditional tools," Mr Nunes says.
He says tattooing with traditional tools is a third to a half faster than using machines.
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com