While boarding a flight to Aotearoa, New Zealand, he took off his hat and took a look at us:
Well Jason just shared a second post about his tattoo!
“It’s an honor to be a part of this,” he wrote in the caption. “Powerful moment in my life.”
This is such a special moment because Jason got tattooed in the traditional Polynesian way. It usually begins with the artist freehand drawing the design based on conversations about character, family, and culture.
The artist then uses handmade tools to force the ink into the skin, which is much more painful than modern tattoo machines.
The person getting the tattoo is often surrounded by loved ones, who often offer support in the form of songs, comfort, and food.
While Jason didn’t mention the meaning behind his new tattoo, he did explain the one on his arm, which depicts shark teeth as a tribute to his aumakua. To the native Hawaiians, the aumakua is an ancestor that returns in a different form, often as an animal, to protect its descendants. The guardian spirit of Jason’s family is a shark.
So this new tattoo could be another way to honor his aumakua, but the designs look like Native Hawaiian spearheads to me (not an expert though!). There are several variations of spearhead designs on the islands, but it is very common in Polynesian tattoos.
I’m Samoan, so the spearheads in my tattoo were done in the typical Samoan style. To me, they represent protection. But for many other Polynesians, they can symbolize the warrior, providing their family, courage in battle, and more.
Whatever the meaning, I’m sure it’s personal and powerful to Jason. I am so proud of any Polynesian who embarks on this journey and bears the pain of the culture’s traditional tattoos. Bad, Jason!
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