Saturday, January 23, 2010

Niho Mano

In my early college experience, I painted. I was very drawn to geometrical shapes, primarily triangles, and finding ways to make those shapes blend into and sometimes even disappear within a very organic background.

I am a big fan of Stargate Atlantis. One of my favorite characters in the series is Ronon Dex, who was portrayed by the actor Jason Momoa. He has a tattoo on his forearm that consists of rows of uniform triangles. In researching it, I found that it is a Hawaiian symbol called Niho Mano and is meant to resemble shark's teeth.

"This is a classical motive of Marquesian tattoopatterns. It can be tattooed on nearly all bodyparts. Often it is part of black stripes. There its tattoed borderareas. Niho-peata can be translated with sharktooth what is comprehensible if you look at this pattern. Niho means tooth and peata is a genus of sharks. A related genus is called mako or mano that’s the reason why this pattern is named different if another genus is chosen for example on Hawaii its sometimes called niho mano or nio mango." :Polynesian symbolism, tattoos from the southsea and native marquesian culture

I have been wanting to return to some of my early work with triangles, only this time in a textile medium. I haven't decided yet if it will spill over into anything cross-stitch, but have started some sketches for an art quilt. I would like to putz a little with discharging fabrics.

More to come!

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