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The Tattoos Works of Samuel Morgan Shaw

Kulture TattooMahalo for visiting

I have lived on the island of Kaua’i for the past 20 years and have been tattooing for the same. I started my career apprenticing in Austin, Texas and eventually opened my previous tattoo studios: Hanalei Tattoo Co. (1998) and Human Rites (00-08). In 2010, after traveling abroad for 2 years I returned once again to the island of Kaua’i and opened Kulture Tattoo.

My tattoo work focuses primarily on Polynesian tattooing, and all tattoos relating to cultural influence and importance. My lifelong interest in ancient and indigenous cultures led me on my path, giving me a personal animistic view of the universe. The talismanic properties of tattoos have always been at the core of my interest driving me further into exploring the roots of tattooing culture and history.  My intent in tattooing also stems from my personal views regarding the missionary/colonial conquest that nearly wiped out indigenous tattoo practices and the knowledge systems, not only within the Pacific but the world over. My passion is to help support cultural revival and to keep the indigenous cultures alive through this unique art form.

My evolution into becoming a specialist in Polynesian symbols and cultural art was a very slow process that continues to this day. Living on the island of Kauai with the unique blend of cultures, years of study, traveling, and having been blessed with some of the best Polynesian tattoo artists in the world as my mentors all contributed to my understanding of the meanings in Polynesian tattoos and symbols. Humankind has made huge advancements in technology, yet, despite our evolution, we have lost touch with the world around us. Personal connections have been replaced by electronic ones. The current state of humanity abuses its relationship with the earth and tramples upon the indigenous. I want my tattooing to remind us of our human connection, the connection to our roots and serve as reminders of who we are in a fast changing world. I strive to keep this connection alive with my art.

Please view my portfolios above to see the various style of tattooing I specialize in. I also tattoo Japanese, Color, and dot work style tattoos. If you are interested in booking an appointment please email me at kulture@me.com. Please keep in mind that I am consistently booked for at least two weeks and concentrate on larger tattoo projects. I tattoo mainly freehand and discuss all meanings in person. I can not design tattoos for another tattoo artist to tattoo.

Please keep in mind that the tattoos I create are intended for the wearer alone and are never meant to be copied. They represent my client’s personal journeys and experiences. Please respect this by not copying my work. To do so would be disrespect to the wearer, the artist and the culture. Mahalo for viewing my work.

Samuel Morgan Shaw

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