The word Tattoo comes from the Sāmoan word Tatau. Upon European contact with Polynesia in the 18th century Sāmoa among other Polynesian cultures had no formal written language. The foreigners from various European countries mispronounced and documented mispronounced words from Polynesia as they were originally spoken by native people.
Tatau in Sāmoa is a rite of passage, a family involved event in life, symbol of service to ʻĀiga (family) and Matai (Chiefs), art form thousands of years old, a symbol of Aganuʻu (culture and/or pursuit of culture knowledge), Living Faʻa Sāmoa (the Sāmoan way).
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