Monday, May 31, 2010

Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i - Sylvia's Back Piece

The one day in Hawai'i when I didn't take any tattoo pictures, I did pass out a few fliers. One I handed to a woman sitting in a chair at the Safeway Center on Kapahulu Avenue.

She had what appeared to be an incredible back piece, the top of which was visible to passers-by.

Sylvia later e-mailed me and shared a link to a site that featured a photo of the tattoo, along with an explanation of the piece. I have extracted it here for the enjoyment of the Tattoosday audience.

First, the tattoo:

Sylvia explains:

"My tattoo represents my ancestry...from the family of the 'Royal Hawai'ian Ole' (chanters of the Alii court), from the snowy mountains of Japan, the homeland of Portuguese Bean soup, and the inter-mix marriages of American Indians and Puerto Ricans. I believe the seven I have on my back describe who I am the best. Most locals have meaning for their tattoos but we also have people like Lindsay who just go with their flow. Many families have several signs that make up their families even as far as the Scottish Clan "Duncan" like me..."

What's wonderful about this tattoo to me is that Sylvia has incorporated so many cultures and motifs into the design which, as she acknowledges, is based on the wonderful mix of heritage and ancestry that comprises her background. This is very typical of people who live in Hawai'i, which is host to such an explosion of multicultural intermingling.

I love how the honu/sea turtle brings all of the elements together. The eagle, dragonfly, bear paw, wolf, buffalo, and shark all join to provide a rich tapestry of images that each speak to a different aspect of her heritage.

Sylvia's tattoo was inked by Joseph Garcia, Trigga Happy Tattoo in Waipahu. Eagle, Dragonfly, Bear Paw, Turtle, Wolf, Buffalo, and Shark.

Thanks to Sylvia for responding to me initially and for sharing her tattoo via her post here. We here at Tattoosday appreciate your contribution!

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