Welcome to Avaiki Tatau Art Featuring the Polynesian tattoo traditions
of Rennell and Bellona Islands

Mungava and Mungiki (Rennell and Bellona) are two small islands categorized as Polynesian outliers—that is culturally and linguistically they are Polynesian, but geographically they fall outside the boundaries generally associated with Polynesia. Politically and geographically, Mungava and Mungiki are in the Solomon Island group.  

What is particularly unique about these islands is they just received Christianity in 1938, about 150 years later than most islands in the Pacific. Because of this, a lot of cultural knowledge has been retained, including knowledge of the traditional tattoo practices. Practitioners today remember their grandparents wearing the traditional marks. Although the art had devolved shortly after the arrival of Christianity, it was continually practiced in one form or another. In recent decades, a revival of the full-body tattoo has occurred, accompanied by the revival of all the accompanying cultural practices—the preparations, ritualized gift-giving, chant, and dance that accompanied the imprinting is practiced once again by Avaiki people.

© Copyright 2008-10 | Angikinui Francis Tekatoha and Tricia Allen | All rights reserved

Hosted by AlohaWorld LLC