Polynesia is the group of islands that lie in the Polynesian triangle in the Pacific. It is also often called Oceania. The people of Polynesia have a culture of their own and they take pride in their cultural heritage. Historically, the people of Polynesia had beliefs on stars and used them for navigation. They also had developed the skills necessary for sustaining life like fishing, farming and weather prediction.
Art had a very special place in Polynesian culture and daily life. Weapons that were ornate and had intricate design were thought to be more powerful as opposed to the simple ones. Similarly a lot of the caves and dwellings of the ancient Polynesian civilization is a testament to the value that was given to Polynesian art.
The Polynesian art is elaborate and has a lot of symbols that signify different things. Most of the symbols are related to ocean, since Polynesians lead island life. For example, shark teeth represent strength and protection. Ocean represents life and change. Turtles are also very common in the polynesian art. They represent health and longevity of life.
Decorating the body with tattooing is a very old art in Polynesia. Some historians say that it is as old as 2000 years. But with the advent of Europeans and the Christianization of the Polynesians, the art of tattooing was banned by the Church as against the Christian values.It is only in the modern times that the art is revived again. This is due to the research and modern tattooing technology that they artists are equipped with today.
Today, body decoration and jewelry is considered a standard in the modern Polynesian societies. That is why you will find many people sporting breathtaking and detailed Polynesian tattoos that are inspired by the Polynesian art.
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