Polynesian Tatau / Tattoos
Polynesian Tattoos is an informative and explanatory celebration of diversity, heritage, and cultural wealth.
It explores the relationship between ‘tatau’ and its bearers, its influences and explores both the evolution
and longevity of the practice.
The project spans the vast South Pacific Ocean from the Marquesas Islands, to Aotearoa New Zealand, and
north to Tonga and Samoa.
In contemporary western culture tattoos are increasingly common place, especially Polynesian inspired markings,
but a deeply sacred and ancient heritage lies behind these markings, and these moko or tatau are only
considered valid or real when worn by those with the tribal and cultural right to do so.
The collection of existing images won an Honourable Mention in the 2018 Lucie Awards, and a Bronze in the
2021 Budapest International Foto Awards.
The project is ongoing in Aotearoa New Zealand, and recently gained the significant endorsement of
Pouroto Ngaropo, Tribal Leader, Tohunga, Historian and Senior Cultural Advisor, himself a bearer of mataora, facial moko.
For further information please get in touch with Axel directly.