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Maori man with full moko tattoo
Maori man with full moko tattoo
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Glossary

Skin Stories: The Art and Culture of Polynesian Tattoo

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Maurice and Hiro Lynch
Maurice and Hiro Lynch
Maurice and Hiro Lynch

Maurice and Hiro Lynch are Tahitian brothers living in San Diego, whose father was tattoo artist "Tahiti Felix." Felix Lynch opened his tattoo shop in San Diego in the 1950s and taught his sons the trade. Both brothers have no regrets about following in the family tradition.

In the early 1960s, the Lynches also created a dance troupe of Tahitian dancers in Southern California and went on a global tour. They were involved in show business for about twelve years and travelled around the U.S., Canada and Asia.

Both brothers have children who are not interested in tattooing, so the family tradition will most likely stop with them. However, they have many colorful memories of their father's shop and their own business to keep the legacy living.


Al Miller
Al Miller
Al Miller

Al Miller is a Hawaiian tattoo artist who began tattooing at the age of twelve. He was hanging around his uncle's shop in Honolulu when a merchant seaman came in looking for a tattoo. There was no tattoo artist around at the time, so the seaman told Miller to do it. When Miller's brother-in-law saw his handiwork, he proclaimed Miller was a tattoo artist now too.

When he first started in the 1930s, Miller used a chopstick with a needle attached to it, later changing to a more modern tattoo machine. After World War II, Miller ran a tattoo shop in the YMCA, which was very successful due to all the military personnel on the island at the time. He then moved first to San Francisco and then to San Diego, where he worked with Felix "Tahiti Felix" Lynch.

Miller stopped tattooing only recently, but he still draws. It was his love of drawing and the family tradition of tattooing that originally led him to the profession.