AT THE AGE OF 14, I WAS INTRODUCED TO THE WORLD OF TATTOOING AND AFTER A FIVE-YEAR APPRENTICESHIP OF STUDYING THE ANCIENT SYMBOLS/MOTIFS ALONG WITH THE LANGUAGES FROM THE 5 DIFFERENT ARCHIPELAGOES OF FRENCH POLYNESIA, INCLUDING THE HISTORY, LEGENDS AND CULTURE WITHIN THE ART; I WAS FINALLY DECLARED READY TO EXECUTE MY FIRST TATTOO. MORE THAN 24 YEARS HAVE PASSED ALREADY SINCE I HAVE BEEN PRACTICING TRADITIONAL POLYNESIAN TATTOOING.
I received my first tattoo of a spiritual guide with a man in the centre holding the four elements at bay at 14 years of age. As a direct descendant of my ancestors who were the originators of the Traditional Tatau, this first tattoo helps me to maintain balance throughout my life. It is one of many stories that adorn my body. “It is a mark in the time, one of the different phases of my life. “Everything I’ve done I’ve marked.”
Today I live in Kelowna B.C. Canada, where I continue to live and practice the ways of my ancestors. I have spent the past 12 years traveling internationally, attending conventions and visiting different shops promoting the ancient art of “Tatau”. I am proud to be able to share my heritage with the world.
Mauruuru Roa, Koutau Nui, Thanks, Merci,
KAOHA, MAEVA, WELCOME, bienvenue !
Ia Orana, Kaoha Nui, Maeva to all!
I remain today, one of very few Tatau Masters from the islands of French Polynesia, who still practice our ancient art. My ancestors originate from the Tuamotu islands, and the Marquise Islands of French Polynesia where my mother is a direct descendent of the last princess of Hiva Oa. Born in my father’s car in Tahiti, my parents chose an appropriate name for me: “Tautu” meaning “landed with force”.
I have been given a gift from our Gods, the gift of the Tatau! For more than two decades the missionaries banned and forbade us from performing our ancient art. That is why today I am determined to keep the Tatau alive and to transmit our sacred heritage to our young and future generations, to no longer be forgotten.
At the age of 14, I was introduced to the world of tattooing and after a five-year apprenticeship of studying the ancient symbols/motifs along with the languages from the 5 different archipelagoes of French Polynesia, including the history, legends and culture within the art; I was finally declared ready to execute my first tattoo. More than 24 years have passed already since I have been practicing traditional Polynesian tattooing.