The hongi, better associated with our Maori and Hawaiian cousins, is an embrace where the exchanging of the ‘Ha’ (Breath of Life) occurs. It can also be interpreted as the sharing of both souls. Whether it be between siblings, cousin, or a man and a women the ‘Ha’ is truly a spiritual mana embrace between beings. This represents a girl taking on the honor of becoming a taupou. A hongi, sharing of 'ha’ between present and future self. #UrbanNesian
Head of a seated man, made from bark, rushes, red cloth, and vegetable fibers. Unknown Polynesian artist; early 19th century. From Easter Island (Rapa Nui); now in the Ulster Museum, Belfast. Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Wikimedia Commons.
An update and some good news! I’m being featured alongside some of my peers and classmates in a Vis Dev art book. We released the Kickstarter for it just a few days ago, and a lot of my art for the Pele/Hawaiian story will be featured in it (including some stuff I won’t even be posting online!)
For Backers that pledge a certain amount, there will also be original art included in their package. For original art I’m doing a FireGolem/Minion series which will be watercolors like the ones you see here (also doing a FireMinion ukulele band, so if anyone wants to collect them and have the entire band, e-mail Caleb Prochnow after backing the project and request that you specifically receive a minion art/sketch.) There will be a limited amount of them offered.
Man. That is tough. I see it all the fuckin time and it pisses me off. Some of my friends (tattoo artists) will post their works of “day of the dead girls”, which features an obviously NOT Mexican girl, or “native girls”, which are obviously NOT native. It’s fucking annoying and I wish more artists would have respect–but most of them just don’t know. Heck, I didn’t know. I’ve done a few Día de Muertos tattoos and candy skulls in my day, but I haven’t since I learned about cultural appropriation.
For many tattoo artists, non-Polynesians with Polynesian tattoos (or non-Māori with Tā moko, etc) are a laughing stock, but the artists will still do the tattoos to make the money. It’s stupid.
People should stand their fucking ground and say, “no, this culture does not belong to you.” I do.
As a Filipino, if I saw a non-Filipino with re-created batok, I would be absolutely fucking livid and would want to peel their skin off myself. I’m Filipino and I’m not about to choose random batok patterns and smack them on myself! When the time comes for me to have some tattooed (and I definitely will), I will put in the time and effort to find a Filipino artist that understands and respects the traditional art, and speak with them about what every pattern means, and what I can have tattooed. Some must be earned. I really want to travel to the Philippines and visit Whang Od, the last living mambabatok!!
I live in Canada now, and the demand for Native tattoos (Coast Salish, Nootka, Kwagiutl, ‘Ksan, Tlingit, or more commonly, Haida) is very high.
I always say no. Unless the client is Native, I say no, and I tell them why. I am not Native. And as long as I am living and working on stolen land, I do NOT have the right to make money off of their culture. I think Native artwork is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I understand that people want the art on their bodies! But they need to put in the time and effort to research and find a NATIVE tattoo artist. I cannot draw you a real Native piece, and I do not have the right to tattoo it on you. Find a Native artist and find out whether or not they actually want to give the art to you.
If you’re going to have work from a certain culture put on you, at least find yourself a damn artist from that actual culture. That’s literally the least you can do. DO IT.
I think we just need to educate people more. But at lot of people don’t want to listen. I don’t want to go commenting on people’s pages, because I know they wont listen and I’ll just end up getting bombarded by assholes; I just make my own posts where I can. I know at least a few of my followers will read and hopefully learn.