Can anyone get Samoan tattoos? – Pinterest Tattoosmens — The Big Lead (@BigLeadSI) November 17, 2014

[UPDATE — The Big Lead’s original post, with more on how to deal with Samoan tattoos, has since been removed.] I’m not a Samoan person at all, but a friend of mine was recently offered this tattoo, in a Samoan language. She said not only is it wrong on every level, it’s also embarrassing and inappropriate. Can anyone help me navigate the situation and make this friend realize that tattoos should be done with a professional, not a bunch of teenagers?

Update: Reader Joe wrote in to point out that the tattoo on his friend’s arm is actually a very popular tattoo in Samoa:

“It was a tattoo she got at a Samoan bar. I know she got a nice Samoan one here in San Francisco for like $10. I asked her where she got it. She said, ‘I don’t know. They say it’s the Samoan language.'”

Update #2: Joe got in touch and offered this solution: The tattoo is actually very popular in Samoa, but it’s not official:

“They can say that but they don’t. It’s the Samoan language. I got that one the first time, it was $15 in 2011. It was made to have the tattoo on my arm and on the arm of this friend of mine.”

[UPDATE #3 — Reader Sam wrote in to offer further insight on tattooing in Samoan culture:

[A] tattoo writer came out of the woodwork for this and was more than pleased to help this family out.

He says it is common in Samoan tattoos, but not a mandatory thing. [He adds that he can do a “Samoan one” for $100 or free as long as it has an important message]
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On some of the smaller tattoo sites you have to sign up to be able to get the tattoos because you need to pay up front.

One of the reasons a tattooist can use the Internet is to get quotes for Samoan tattoo work. You know what they say about finding someone that can quote you for a Samoan tattoo. This is a perfect example. She’s in the same boat as you. Here, we’re looking for a quote that will give you good quality work that is likely to be used all over.

If you are thinking of doing a

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