Chief Engineer David “DB" Brown receiving his tattoo from living master Tetini Pekepo.
T as he is known through Rarotonga and the tattoo and Polynesian heritage communities is a true artist and scholar. He only sees clients by appointments that are scheduled to create living art in the Polynesian revival style of tattoo. He learns your life history during an interview, sketches the spirit of the tattoo lightly on your skin, then lays hands and gives traditional prayer over the area to be worked on. He adds the raw ink in an organic process over hours to create- in this case at least- one of the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve ever seen. He closes the session with a healing massage over the area.
DB received a tattoo regarding his heritage as a native Pitcairn Islander, descended directly from the landing members of the HMS Bounty. Each element of his tattoo tells his and his ancestors story of being seafarers, the struggles they faced, and the draw of his home and life. It is simply stunning.
T is also a massage therapist and healer, and an extremely accomplished traditional ocean navigator and respected in these communities as well.
It was an honor to be able to observe and photograph the process, my thanks to both T and DB.