Here is an example of a ‘taulima’ or bracelet tattoo by Cliff Cole of Tautua Ink in Avondale, Auckland. I like his designs because they’re clean and sharp.

He renders Samoan cultural tattoo symbolism for new interpretations in this new millennia and I find his combinations of traditional Samoan patterns refreshing but still keeping it real.

To the keen eye, the tanoa (special kava container) is depicted within his design but it also could be interpreted as stones as well.

There are several patterns but that’s what I like about leaving it to the Master tattoo artist to choose a design that is gifted to the receiver.

For other cultures, the receiver chooses the design and the artist must then try to duplicate it as best as possible on the area decided upon. The service becomes a transaction with the receiver in the powerseat.

However, when the power is given to the master tattoo artist then there’s a certain trust between the two and a certain magic can happen…