The art of tattoo is at the heart of Polynesian culture and its origins are lost in the mists of time. For the Polynesians, it is a sign of beauty, more important for men than for women. Bone and tortoiseshell combs with sharp pointed teeth were originally used to penetrate the skin and burnt oily fruits provided the colour necessary for the designs. The art was most fully developed in the Marquese Islands where the menís bodies were often tattooed all over. The custom is once again regaining strength with the new generation. I caught this dancer as he was resting between dances at the Heiva festival.