The art of tattooing goes a long way back in Polynesian cultures. In fact, the word tattoo comes from the Polynesian word tātū. Traditionally, Polynesians would mix ash and lemon for ink. Using a kind of teethed brush made from fish bones and a small club, they would hammer the ash into the skin. It would often infect and sometimes even cause death.
Since ancient times, the hygiene of the modern Rapa Nui tattoo artists has luckily improved greatly. There are several artists of international standard. Two of them are Mokomae at the top of main street Atamu Tekena and Saone closer to the center. Both have very high hygiene standards.