Reblogged from: http://www.pbs.org/skinstories/
The journey to receive a tattoo can follow many different roads.
When you think of someone with a tattoo, what comes to mind? A biker? A sailor? A rebellious teen? These are all stereotypes of tattoos in American culture, but in reality tattoo began in the Polynesian islands, with a cultural tradition and meaning Westerners are only beginning to understand.
Tattoo, or tatau, has deeps roots among the indigenous peoples of Polynesia. As the tradition spread through the sea-faring cultures, each island brought its own style to this physical art form.
After Captain Cook arived in the islands in the late 1700s, missionaries were soon to follow. They denounced tattoo as “the Devil’s art,” and acted swiftly to abolish tattoo, which was condemned as a symbol of superstition and sorcery. The sophisticated body art form which had developed over thousands of years was nearly destroyed in just a few decades, preserved only in old paintings and photographs.
Courtesy of NZ On Screen: We have just added to our website Signatures of the Soul, the 1984 documentary fronted by Peter Fonda (directed by New Zealander Geoff Steven) that tracks the art of tattooing from New Zealand, through Samoa and the East L.A. and San Francisco scenes (including interviews with Ed Hardy and Bob Roberts) and on to Japan.
Click this link to watch full video: http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/signatures-of-the-soul-tattooing-today-1984 (more…)
Lindsey Carmichael: But you are not the type of person I know to be affected in a negative way by nonsense. And most of the people who would have negative things to say about the show or whatever—it wouldn’t affect you. From what I’ve seen, in your life- only great, positive things have come of this. So, I’m just wondering, what the experience was like? It seems at times overwhelming, but mostly great…
Dan Smith: Well it’s such a funny thing, because everybody and their dog has an opinion about it. Yet, no one really knows about it. Everyone wants to know about it, and wants to talk about it, but it is what it is. How much thought and energy do you want to put into the fact that it’s a TV show? In order for tattooing to be a TV show, it has to cover some stuff that’s exaggerated, or that might not be 100 percent accurate, or whatever else. That’s just being realistic about what TV is.
LC: It’s a show.
DS: Why should that make you have an opinion about somebody that you don’t know, haven’t met and haven’t had a conversation with? You know? They film for 50 or 60 hours a week and put that into a 45-minute show…