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Tattooing In Samoa

Better Essays
Summer Wise
Anthropology 314
J. Howell
December 7, 2017
Tattooing in Samoa
Introduction: why does this matter? Origin story and meaning The Samoans are an ethnic group that reside in Oceania, on the islands of Samoa, in an area of Polynesia. Samoa has been occupied by these indigenous people for about 3000 years, when they came from the west, occupying the islands of Fiji and Tonga around the same time (Barnes and Hunt 2005, 243). They carry many traditions with their culture, however, I will be discussing their tradition of tattooing. Tattooing is the process of inserting ink pigment into someone’s skin to create a permanent design on them. For Samoans, tattoos are much more significant than just a pretty piece of artwork, they are, according to Ryman (2004), a right of passage. I will be reviewing the importance of cultural tattoos, the process of being tattooed, and the varying origin stories of how tattooing first came to Samoa. Samoan tattooing matters because it is a cultural tradition that has been practiced in Samoa for over 3000 years (Ellis 2006, 698).
Demographics:
Samoa is divided into two, separate nations, The Independent State of Samoa (referred to as Samoa) and Territory of American Samoa (referred to as American Samoa). Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa, is an independent nation based on a unitary parliamentary democracy, which consists of a legislative, executive, and judiciary branch (Government of Samoa). Samoa is made up of two, main islands,
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