About Tatau/Tattoo in the Cook Islands
Tatatau or Tatau in the Cook Islands dates back previous to the introduction of Christianity to the islands.
In many cases our origin of Tatau is told in the story of “Ina and the shark” Where in a fit or rage Ina, stomps down onto various fish and sea life, resulting in them being permanently marked. (I'm summarising)
Not tattooed specifically. However, if we go back and remember that the Cook Islands were only collectively grouped together by Captain James Cook who was the first European to arrive on the islands around 1773-1777 and originally called them the Hervey Islands, later named the Cook Islands in honor of Captain James Cook .
Before then we had traditional names and were most likely individual identities.
Though some of our islands lay close to each other some are so wide spread in todays times they would more than likely be mapped into the islands of Samoa, or Tokelau. This is made obvious by the language similarities.
In the case of islands such as Mangaia, we know that the age of this island out dates any of that in the pacific with stories of early arrivals from Nuku Hiva and its neighbouring islands. Therefore oratorical teachings of the practice of actually embedding the skin with pigments could have quite possibly come from these visitors.
Well its food for thought anyway.
about the artist
My name is Stormy Kara, Im 33years old and currently reside in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. I grew up in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
I began tattooing in 2004 as an apprentice to my uncle Tetini Pekepo and in late 2004 I opened Pacific Ink here in Rarotonga. In 2010 I moved back home to Aotearoa to study Whakairo and in 2015 I graduated with a BA in Maori Visual Arts.
In 2016 I returned home to Rarotonga with my 4 year old son to re-emerse ourselves once again in our Cook Islands Culture.
Pacific Ink - Stormy Tekura Marumaru Okianga Kara
These are a selection of my work,Each one individually designed for the client that represents their unique lineage and family, life experiences, triumphs and tribulations. They may represent healing that has taken place or a beloved family member who has passed on.
Specialising in Taatatau, Taa Moko and Tattoo
All work is catered to the individuals needs, if you are interested in undergoing this process for your own piece please feel free to contact Stormy.