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Samoan Material Culture

Figure 330.—Tattooing; commencement (back):

Figure 330.—Tattooing; commencement (back):

Figure 330.—Tattooing; commencement (back):

a, The first line drawn was le aso o le pula (the line of the pula) which corresponds to Kramer's aso fa'alava (18, vol. 2, p. 77). The artist picked the narrowest instrument (au fa'atala) and dipped the side of the comb into the pigment. With the side of the instrument, he made a series of short lines in the horizontal direction (1). The artist laid both hands over the patient's hips and held him steady while he scrutinized the level and straightness of the line. The second line (2) was made slightly above and parallel with it to form the lower limits of the va'a (canoe). A little distance above that, the third line (3) forming the upper limits of the canoe was marked off. The outer ends curved slightly upwards. These lines are afterwards curved forward to form the fa'aulutao which form the subject of criticism mentioned. Fa'aulutao means to make like the head (ulu) of a spear (tao). The fourth line (4) commences from the first line to the left of the middle line and descends obliquely to the middle line. From there it ascends to a point equidistant from the middle line on the right. This forms a triangle base upwards and marks the lower limits of the figure known as the pula tama.