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The word "tattoo" finds its origins in the Polynesian language. Captain Cook was the first to use the word "tattoo". The origins of the practice itself have its roots in the mists of time. We owe one of the origins of this tradition to the Marquesans; and it is also over there that you will find the most skilful tattooists.

This tradition was a rite which had an initiatory and social vocation. It was done at the time of publication of an important period of an individual's life, and was done more frequently to men than to women.

Tattoo was a sign of beauty required by people's social status; it also showed the strength and courage of the one wearing it, thus inspiring respect towards tattooed people.

This practice has been condemned by the European missionaries and therefore completely disappeared. However, in French Polynesia, it reappeared during the 80's when local artists went to pilgrimage to Samoa islands where the practice of the tattoo was never lost.

In November this festival welcomes more than 15 000 visitors and brings together the best tattooists from the Polynesian Triangle and the rest of the world.


For more information, visit their website.


Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort,
Lafayette Beach PK7,
French Polynesia

Thursday, November 8, 2018 to Sunday, November 11, 2018
French Polynesia