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The Process - Making Marks

"As is my process before I mark someone; I look at the body as a whole and as our women did before us, choose where and what to be marked on the body.

Normally Papua New Guinean women bring their familial designs. It's a collaborative process where we talk and decide together; today’s world is highly focused on the 'I' as opposed to our old Pasifika way which I feel focused on the 'we'.

The consultation process is a safe zone where myself and the person to be marked can have these discussions". 

- Julia


Marking Nikita - Hand Tap Method (Photo: Nikita's Cousin)

1.talk with julia

Julia designs the marks and works out placement after speaking with you and getting to know your story.

It's a personal, collaborative and open process. At the end of the consult you decide whether you wish to go ahead. 

Julia designs with Melanesian based patterns and marks the skin using the hand tapping and

hand poke method.


2.make marks

The designs are drawn freehand upon skin, the placement of the marks previously discussed during the first consult.

Once the drawing is complete the marking begins. Each session lasts 4 hrs, with Julia. 


3.more marks

This session involves additional work to a large design that needs to be completed over a number of sessions. The number of sessions required to finish a large piece are decided upon during the first session.


4.follow up

This session involves going over marks and tidying up the design. It's also an opportunity to reconnect. 



Marking Dulcie - Hand Poke Method (Photo: Moale James)

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hand tap & hand poke melanesian tattoo

Mage'au : Melanesian Marks