Updated: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 02:30:00 GMT | By Steve Cook
The art of tribal tattoos

Samoan tattoos

A man with Samoan tattoos (© Rex Features)
  • Popular tribal tattoo designs (© Rex Features)
  • Mike Tyson (© Rex Features)
  • A Celtic tattoo (© Rex Features)
  • A man with Samoan tattoos (© Rex Features)
  • Man displaying Japanese tattoos (© Rex Features)
  • Man with Polynesian tattoos (© Rex Features)
  • Man posing with Hawaiian tattoos (© Rex Features)
  • Man getting inked (© Rex Features)
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The word tattoo itself is said to have come from the Polynesian word tatau. In the earlier times, the Samoan people carved tattoos on their body parts to distinguish themselves from other clans. These days, Samoan tattoos are a fashion accessory, symbolizing strength and power. Actor and former wrestler The Rock sports has one on his arm. Contemporary Samoan tattoos are carved on a part of the leg, hand or chest, but traditional tattoo design starts from the knee and travels up to the belly button.