The art of tattooing began over 5,000 years ago, with the first tattoo artists inking individuals on the South Pacific Islands. Polynesian tribal tattoos were complex, beautifully crafted works of art. Traditionally, the designs were geometrical shapes, and often covered the entire body. (Polynesian Tattoos). The There are two tribes of the Polynesians had their own style and way of tattooing; they are the Samoa and the Tonga tribes. Tattooing has evolved of the years and will continue to become more diverse and more detailed over time. .
Samoa and Tonga were two separate Polynesian tribes that played pivotal roles in developing tattooing methods; tattoos became a valid form of art and those who knew the skill were true artists. Tongan warriors had tattoos inked from their waists to their knees. The designs were geometrical and detailed; triangular motifs, bands, and areas of sold black (Polynesian Tattoos). These tattoos were seen as a taboo for priest who went through a long period of training. Also the Polynesia people said when one had these tattoos done by the Tongan warriors they stood for a profound social and cultural meaning (Polynesian Tattoos). .
In the Samoa region of Europe, tattooing was important for religious rituals and warfare. Here the tattooing artists were highly known and privileged. When the Samoa people wanted to tattoo they tended to do it in groups of six to eight men at a time, while their family members attended. In the Tongan area the artist tattooed from the waist to the knee, here the Samoa people tattoo from the waist right below the knee. Not only were the men tattooed the women were tattooed as well. Unlike the men's tattooing the women were to get delicate flower-like patterns on their hands and lower body parts.
Tribal tattoos had many meanings but they have grown over time into much more. The word "tribal " comes from the root word "tribe"(Squidoo), which means the word tribal deals with tribes, hence the Polynesian tribe.