The Samoan tataus (tattoos) are unique compared to the other Polynesian tribes, it is said to be more abstract. The pattern and motives of the Samoan man's tatau (tattoo) reach from the mid back down the sides of the flanks to the knees and are pigmented smoothly. As a womans is not quiet as extensive or heavy.
Initiation rituals - a man can only be a complete being with social duties for the community if he is tataued. Traditionally it is said if a Samoan is not tatued he will not be buried but he will be simply thrown into the jungle.
The Samoans have a saying "Fanau le teine fana franau, frnau le tama le tatau" this means, "If a girl is born it must bear pain of birth, if a boy is born it must bear pain of tatauing."
The total process takes 10 days with 5 sessions and one days rest in between to let the inflammation subside. - Follow this link to see the 10 steps
Young women would sit around the person(s) being tattooed. They would hold them down to prevent them moving around and damaging the tattoo. They would calm them and distract them by massaging their head and singing a certain song - link to song- to occupy them from the pain. If a man started to complain or cry it was considered disgraceful behaviour and unfitting for a man.
Today there is no initiation ritual in congested areas, the Samoan Tat-tau is more a sign of pride and connection with traditions and culture