Image courtesy of artist 

Image courtesy of artist 

keone nunes


TRIBE: Native Hawaiian

MEDIUM: Traditional Tattooing

LOCATION: Waianae, Hawaii




Nunes is a master tattoo artist from Waianae, Hawaii, and has been at the forefront of the movement to bring "uhi"—or traditional tattooing—back to the islands. He has been tattooing for almost 25 years and has been using traditional Hawaiian/Polynesian tattoo tools exclusively since 1999. Nunes leads several apprentice students and most recently has been asked to serve as a Hawaiian representative at the Festival of Pacific Arts to be held in Guam in the summer of 2016.

"I've allowed the tools to teach me. There are very few things in this world that we can say we are doing exactly the same way they were done 100, 200, 500 years ago. When a person lays down on the mat to get a tattoo, they are feeling the same emotions and feelings as their ancestors. It's very powerful."



Native Hawaiian honored with Community Spirit Award during Wearable fashion show in Hawaii

Traditional Polynesian Tattoo Artist is 2015 Community Spirit Award Honoree