Samoa – Tattoos – Good Luck Charms from Around the World

Almost every culture around the world has some history of good luck charms.  Samoa is part of the cultural heritage of Polynesia, which is rich in symbols of good fortune.  Like in many other islands in this area of the world, the country of Samoa embraces the symbolism of tattoos.

Samoa – Tattoos 

Tattooing on Samoa and Tahiti, a neighbouring state, is an ancient and sacred art form.  In the west tattoos might be a sign of rebellion or individualism but in Samoa, it is a part of the cultural rites of passage.  Some of the tattoos are symbols of social status and acts of courage.  However, some of the patterns are worn as talisman or charms – as a way of asking for good fortune and protection.

History of the lucky charm of Samoa

The tattoos of Samoa are known as the tatau. The art of tatua is believed to have started two centuries ago, though its history predates this, as an integral part of Samoan culture and history.  They are meant as a visual representation of the wearer’s life – the pain and suffering, as well as hopes. Every symbol will have some connection to life, love, family, death, fertility and a desire to be protected from evil

Why the Tattoo charm is bringing luck

Where you place the tattoo and the symbol you select has great significance.  The tattoo will either speak of your history or it will be protection or hope for a better future.  For instance, a tattoo place in the region between the navel and chest is a request for harmony.  The use of the tiki symbol is a means of requesting protection from the gods and the turtle symbolises good health and peace.

How to use the Tattoo charm

In Samoa, you would approach a person trained to do such tattoos, who has a similar status as a priest.