Elvis arm tattooThe art of tattooing began over 2,000 years ago in the Polynesian islands. Their tattoos are unique and have a deep societal meaning. The masters of tattooing were called tufuga in Samoa, tohunga in Aotearoa/ Te Waipounamu, and kahuna in Hawai’i. Even the sacred chiefs held them in high esteem. It was the master who decided what design was right and who was to be marked and when. Often the tattoo-e would be instructed to fast or stick to a special diet before receiving the tattoo, lest they taint their spirit. Many tattoo ceremonies were a right of passage into adulthood.