Polynesian Art and Hawaiian Culture

The Role of Tattooing in Ancient Polynesian Society

As there is no inscription concerning the Polynesian civilization, the Polynesians employed the tattooing art full of characteristic signs to communicate their uniqueness, as well as personality. They imposed their tattoos to the Hawaiian culture indicating the status in a pecking order culture: sexual adulthood, family and a person’s rank inside society. Virtually everyone in antique Polynesian civilization was tattooed.  The Hawaiian people were occupied in the restoration of Polynesian lost art. Shortly following the missionaries coming (1797) the tattooing practice was severely barred, as the holy book prohibits it. In current years, though, the skill of tattooing has taken pleasure in a new beginning near the beginning of 1980’s. The Hawaiian Art once more revealed and was interested in the Polynesian cultural inheritance, establishing their uniqueness in the restoration of lots of lost arts. Tattooing with the employment of conventional tools was forbidden in French Polynesia by the government owing to the complexity in sanitizing the wooden, as well as bone equipment.

The beginning of Western expertise also established a modernized flair of Polynesian art. Numerous artists generated elegantly comprehensive works of monumental, artistic talent and practical complications by the employment attained steel carving instruments. An example is the complicatedly carved Austral Islands paddles, the abundantly decorated compositions of 19th century Maori artists. Another example is the outstanding traditional Cook Islands adzes. In further cases, innovative art compositions evolve merging Polynesian as well as Hawaiian materials and methods, for instance, the bold metaphorical painting routine of the Maori or the splendidly skilled rank emblem and comfort merchandise of the Hawaiian dominion. An additional innovation of the nineteenth-century amid Polynesian artists is the improvement and amplification of a wide diversity of objects created for auction to strangers. The first travelers to the Hawaiian region would have carried with them merely a number of the edifying variations and survival items. These items would be existing in the different Polynesian communities that would have been turned into being the fundamental farming staples of the Hawaiian financial system. These ancient people made general alterations in the Hawaiian artistic perspective adjusting and influencing the environment to go with their desires, but they as well had to coexist with definite restrictions implemented by nature that affected the growth of their civilization. These aspects placed certain courses in terms of desirable skills and a survival base and steadily led to a civilization remarkably different from the Polynesian native land. The societal and political association and the sacred practices that materialized as a component of this latest Hawaiian civilization were connected to the citizens’ past occurrences. Moreover, their adjustments to the environments of their new residence.

In Hawaii, the once a year fall Kauai Mokihana fiesta commemorates their civilization and history in a week packed with shows and contests. Children along with adults contend in categories of local music, as well as mastery of conventional gadgets. There are lectures in the Hawaiian way of talking, a hula contest with age classes from toddlers to elders, food and local expertise, free and paid admission performances (Kirch & Babineau, 2001). The fiesta tenders a splendid luau, customary arts-and-crafts marketplaces and local foods from all over Polynesia. There are exhibitions and lectures in coconut husking as well as fiber weaving, pareau binding, construction of ti-leaf leis, as well as spear throwing. Tahitian salsa and drumming classes share the calendar with a Maori along with hula dance-off, Samoan fire contents, and shows by Hawaiian singing groups.

Polynesian wedding traditions commemorate the region’s environment and family ties. In keeping with, these practices embrace beach landscapes, tiki torches, pu blowing also known as conch shell, lei trades, a sand ritual, ukulele song and exceptional blessings by the kahu who is the cultural minister. For instance, throughout the sand ritual, colorful sand is mixed collectively and poured out representing two lives combining. In 1959, Hawaii developed into being the 50th state and tourists from America significantly amplified the influence of Western traditions on Hawaiian artistic perspective. Presently, these artifacts repeatedly enclose comparable U.S. sacred and worldly traditions. Foreign Hawaiians is the widespread interracial affiliations and marriages that have resulted to the mainstream Foreign Hawaiians being multinational or multiracial.

Tiki Masks History

Tiki Masks are considered to be carved masks made of wood that symbolized Hawaiian, as well as, Polynesian Cultural goddesses and gods. They are employed as home furnishings and they as well serve different functions, for example, chasing off evil spirits and mounting the owner’s productiveness (Cox & Davenport, 2000)! They embrace such high meaning in the Polynesian civilization that they, together with new, additional Tiki sculptures and figurines, have turned into being defining icons of the Tiki traditions. Countless Tiki Masks are devised anchored in the four cardinal gods (Finney & Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, 2003). The god symbolizing sunlight, as well as, natural existence is Kane; Ku is considered the battle god; Lono is considered the idol of harmony, winds, environment, cultural leisure and sports; Kanaloa is the symbol of the oceanic god. All the Tiki gods possess a remarkable significance.

Tiki Masks are the ideal Conservational pieces to incorporate to any contemporary home. They are beautiful pieces that possess complex features, making them genuine compositions. They can as well be employed to include the real feel of Luaus, as well as, other feasts. These Masks are as well employed as ornamental pieces in Hawaiian eating places, in addition to Tiki Bars. Tiki Masks could be deployed both in the interior and exterior places, and they could mix wonderfully even with contemporary art pieces.

Ancient Polynesian contemporary art pieces

Tiki Masks thrive in different sizes ranging from 8 inches up to more than 5 feet in height. The intricacy and complexity of the designs is never centered on the Tiki Masks magnitude and size. There are comparatively smaller masks, which contain splendid attributes while there are full-size masks that have noticeable designs (Ewins, 2000). Wooden Tiki sculptures made by hand are currently assessed and viewed on the similar level as other figures of art, as well as sculpture, having the gain to their possessors of being loaded with meaning. The amount of hard work exerted into creating magnificent Tiki statues and Masks is unquestionable. Genuine Tiki Masks encompass well figured out decorations and are carved by skilled Tiki artists having the capability to coalesce meaning, purpose and aesthetic significance. Each component in the sculpture has a significant meaning and worth to the composition.

Polynesian Genuine Tiki Masks

Genuine Tiki Masks are hardwood crafted by skilled craftsmen and after that oil and wax is employed in the finishing. There are as well a number of Tiki Masks attributing color, but the mainly universal design is the conventional tainted sculpture made of hardwood. Owing to the matters used and development that the Tiki Masks undertake all through their making, they have the capability to last forever.


Cox, J. H., & Davenport, W. H. (2000). Hawaiian Sculpture. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Ewins, R. (2000). Proto-Polynesian Art? Web. 7, July 2012. Retrieved from <>

Finney, B. R., & Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. (2003). Sailing In the Wake of the Ancestors: Reviving Polynesian Voyaging. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press.

Kirch, P. V., & Babineau, T. I. (2001). Legacy of the Landscape: An Illustrated Guide to Hawaiian Archaeological Sites. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

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