Polynesians are an ethnolinguistic group of related peoples who are native to Polynesia, an expansive region of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. They are part of the larger Austronesian ethnolinguistic group who trace their urheimat to Southeast Asia, they speak the Polynesian languages, a branch of the Oceanic subfamily of the Austronesian language family. There are an estimated 2 million ethnic Polynesians worldwide, the vast majority of whom inhabit independent Polynesian nation states and form minorities in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. Polynesians, including Samoans, Niueans, Cook Islands Māori, Tahitian Mā'ohi, Hawaiian Māoli and New Zealand Māori, are a subset of the Austronesian peoples, they share the same origins as the indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia and Taiwan. This is supported by genetic and archaeological evidence; the origins of the Polynesian people are addressed in the theories regarding human migration into the Pacific, which began about 3,000 years ago.
These are outlined well by Kayser et al.. The most accepted theory is that modern Austronesians originated from migrations out of Taiwan between 3000 and 1000 BC. However, Soares et al. have argued for an older pre-Holocene Sundaland origin within Island Southeast Asia based on mitochondrial DNA. Analysis by Kayser et al. discovered that only 21% of the Polynesian autosomal gene pool is of Melanesian origin, with the rest being of East Asian origin. Another study by Friedlaender et al. confirmed that Polynesians are closer genetically to Micronesians, Taiwanese Aborigines, East Asians, than to Melanesians. The study concluded that Polynesians moved through Melanesia rapidly, allowing only limited admixture between Austronesians and Melanesians, thus the high frequencies of mtDNA B4a1a1 in the Polynesians are the result of drift and represent the descendants of a few East Asian females who mixed with Papuan males. The Polynesian population experienced genetic drift. A popular theory among scholars and native Royal Polynesian Monarchy is that the genesis point from which Polynesia was populated was through the Polynesian Island archipelagos of Samoa.
The Islands of Samoa are theorized to have been the gestation point from where which the initial roots of Polynesia patiently formulated over time, philosophy, language, Arts and spread forth through eastern Polynesia through the spreading of Samoa's Religion. Through their Polynesian Aitu religion, the worship of animal, human deities and a pantheon of Gods and Demi-Gods which would grow exponentially in Eastern Polynesia, with the construction of monolithic Tiki Deities in Tahiti and the spread of the spiritual belief of Mana; the last place to be settled by Polynesians was Aotearoa estimated at around 1300AD. The results of research at the Teouma Lapita site and the Talasiu Lapita site published in 2016 supports the'out of Taiwan' theory although with the qualification that the migration bypassed New Guinea and Island Melanesia; the conclusion from the research published in 2016 is that the initial population of those two sites appears to come directly from Taiwan or the northern Philippines and did not mix with the ‘AustraloPapuans’ of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
DNA analysis of modern Polynesians indicates that there has been intermarriage that results in a mixed Asian-Papuan ancestry of some Polynesians. The research at the Teouma and Talasiu Lapita sites implies that the migration and intermarriage, which resulted in mixed Asian-Papuan ancestry of some Polynesians, occurred after the first initial migration to Vanuatu and Tonga; the preliminary analysis of skulls found at the Teouma and Talasiu Lapita sites is that the skulls lack Australian or Papuan affinities and instead have affinities to mainland Asian populations. There are an estimated 2 million ethnic Polynesians and people of Polynesian descent worldwide, the majority of whom live in Polynesia, the United States and New Zealand; the Polynesian peoples are shown below in their distinctive ethnic and cultural groupings: Polynesia: Māori: New Zealand – c. 590,000 Samoan: Samoa, American Samoa – c. 249,000 Tahitians: Tahiti – c. 178,000 Native Hawaiians: Hawaii – c. 140,000 Tongan: Tonga – c. 104,000 Cook Islands Māori: Cook Islands – 98,000+ Niuean: Niue – c.
20,000–25,000 Tuvaluan: Tuvalu – c. 10,000 Tokelauan: Tokelau – c. 1,500 Tuamotu: Tuamotu Archipelago – c. 16,000 Marquesas Islanders: Marquesas Islands – c. 11,000 Rapanui: Easter Island – c. 5,000 Austral Islanders: Austral Islands – ~7,000 Mangareva
Tapa cloth is a barkcloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean in Tonga and Fiji, but as far afield as Niue, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. In French Polynesia it has nearly disappeared, except for some villages in the Marquesas; the cloth is known by a number of local names although the term tapa is international and understood throughout the islands that use the cloth. The word tapa is from Tahiti and the Cook Islands, where Captain Cook was the first European to collect it and introduce it to the rest of the world. In Tonga, tapa is known as ngatu, here it is of great social importance to the islanders being given as gifts. In Samoa, the same cloth is called siapo, in Niue it is hiapo. In Hawaiʻi, it is known as kapa. In Rotuma, a Polynesian island in the Fiji group, it is called ‘uha and in other Fiji islands it is called masi. In the Pitcairn islands it was called ahu, it is known as tapia. All these words give some clue to the origin. Masi could mean the dye-fig, endemic to Oceania, the one used to make tapa.
Somewhere in history, during the voyages of migration the hiapo or siapo was introduced from Southeast Asia, the paper mulberry tree. The bark of this tree is much better to use, put the use of the dye-fig into oblivion. Only its name remained in Fiji. Tapa has the meaning of border or strip, it seems that before the glueing process became common to make large sheets only narrow strips were produced. Tapa can be decorated by rubbing, stencilling, smoking or dyeing; the patterns of Tongan and Fijian tapa form a grid of squares, each of which contains geometric patterns with repeated motifs such as fish and plants, for example four stylised leaves forming a diagonal cross. Traditional dyes are black and rust-brown, although other colours are known. In former times the cloth was used for clothing, but now cotton and other textiles have replaced it; the major problem with tapa clothing is. However, it was better than grass-skirts, which are either heavier and harder or blown apart, but on the low coral atolls where the mulberry does not grow, people had no choice.
It is labour-intensive to manufacture. Tapa cloth was made by both the women in ancient times. An example is the Hawaiian men, who made their own weapons. Nowadays tapa is worn on formal occasions such as weddings. Another use is for room dividers, it is prized for its decorative value and is found hung on walls as decoration. In Tonga a family is considered poor, no matter how much money they have, if they do not have any tapa in stock at home to donate at life events like marriages, funerals and so forth. If the tapa was donated to them by a chief or the royal family, it is more valuable, it has been used in ceremonial masks in the Cook Islands. It was used to wrap sacred objects, e.g. "God staffs" in the Cook Islands. There are many more uses of tapa which are not mentioned here; the following describes the fabrication of Tapa cloth in Tonga. There may be large differences for other locations. In Tonga hiapo is the name given to the paper mulberry tree. People have bunches of them growing in a corner of their plantations.
They are brought home where the first task is to strip the bark from the trees. The strips are person long; the wood left over is named mokofute. The bark consists of two layers; this work is called haʻalo. The outer bark is discarded, it is dried in the sun before being soaked. After this, the bark is beaten on a wooden tutua anvil using wooden mallets called ike. In the beating the bark is spread out to a width of about 25 cm; this phase of the work is called tutu. The mallets have coarse and fine grooves on the other sides. First the coarse sides towards the end of the work, the flat side; the continuous "thonk" beats of the tapa mallet is a normal sound in Tongan villages. If several women work together they can make a concert out of it. In that case there might be one; when the strips are thin enough, several are beaten together into a large sheet. Some starch from the kumala, or manioke may be rubbed on places; this part of the work is called ʻopoʻopo, the glue is called tou and the resulting sheet of tapa is called fetaʻaki.
It consists of two layers of strips in perpendicular direction, the upper one called lauʻolunga and the lower one laulalo. A knife or sharp shell named mutu is used to trim the edges, the pieces fallen off in this process are called papanaki; when the white fetaʻaki is smoked brown, it is called sala. The women of a whole village work together on a huge sheet of tapa. A donation is made to their chief at an important occasion; such sheets are about 3 m wide and 15, or 30, or sometimes 60 m long. The 15 meter pieces are called launima, the 30 m pieces are called lautefuhi. Friedrich Ratzel in The History of Mankind described, in 1896, the fabrication of tapa as follows: "A circular cut is made with a shell in the bark above the root of the tree.
Tonga the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres scattered over 700,000 square kilometres of the southern Pacific Ocean; the sovereign state has a population of 100,651 people, of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu. Tonga stretches across 800 kilometres in a north-south line, it is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec to the southwest, New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the farther west. It is about 1,800 kilometres from New Zealand's North Island. Tonga became known in the West as the "Friendly Islands" because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit in 1773, he arrived at the time of the ʻinasi festival, the yearly donation of the First Fruits to the Tuʻi Tonga and so received an invitation to the festivities. According to the writer William Mariner, the chiefs wanted to kill Cook during the gathering but could not agree on a plan.
From 1900 to 1970, Tonga had British protected state status, with the United Kingdom looking after its foreign affairs under a Treaty of Friendship. The country never relinquished its sovereignty to any foreign power. In 2010, Tonga took a decisive path towards becoming a constitutional monarchy rather than a traditional absolute kingdom, after legislative reforms passed a course for the first partial representative elections. In many Polynesian languages, including Tongan, the word tonga comes from fakatonga which means "southwards", as the archipelago is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia; the word tonga is cognate to the Hawaiian region of Kona, meaning leeward in the Hawaiian language. An Austronesian-speaking group linked to the archaeological construct known as the Lapita cultural complex reached and inhabited Tonga around 1500–1000 BC. Scholars have much debated the exact dates of the initial settlement of Tonga, but Thorium dating confirms that the first settlers came to the oldest town, Nukuleka, by 888 BC, ± 8 years.
Not much is known before European contact because of the lack of a writing system, but oral history has survived and been recorded after the arrival of the Europeans. By the 12th century and the Tongan paramount chief, the Tuʻi Tonga, had a reputation across the central Pacific—from Niue, Rotuma, Wallis & Futuna, New Caledonia to Tikopia—leading some historians to speak of a Tuʻi Tonga Empire. In the 15th century and again in the 17th, civil war erupted; the Tongan people first encountered Europeans in 1616 when the Dutch vessel Eendracht, captained by Willem Schouten, made a short visit to trade. Came other Dutch explorers, including Jacob Le Maire. Noteworthy European visitors included James Cook in 1773, 1774, 1777; the US Exploring Expedition visited in 1840. In 1845, the ambitious young warrior and orator Tāufaʻāhau united Tonga into a kingdom, he held the chiefly title of Tuʻi Kanokupolu, but had been baptised by Methodist missionaries with the name Siaosi in 1831. In 1875, with the help of missionary Shirley Waldemar Baker, he declared Tonga a constitutional monarchy.
Tonga became a protected state under a Treaty of Friendship with Britain on 18 May 1900, when European settlers and rival Tongan chiefs tried to oust the second king. The treaty posted no higher permanent representative on Tonga than a British Consul. Under the protection of Britain, Tonga maintained its sovereignty, remained the only Pacific nation to retain its monarchical government; the Tongan monarchy follows an uninterrupted succession of hereditary rulers from one family. The 1918 flu pandemic, brought to Tonga by a ship from New Zealand, killed 1,800 Tongans, reflecting a mortality rate of about eight per cent; the Treaty of Friendship and Tonga's protection status ended in 1970 under arrangements established by Queen Salote Tupou III prior to her death in 1965. Tonga joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970, became a member of the United Nations in September 1999. While exposed to colonial pressures, Tonga has always governed itself, which makes it unique in the Pacific; as part of cost-cutting measures across the British Foreign Service, the British Government closed the British High Commission in Nukuʻalofa in March 2006, transferring representation of British interests to the High Commissioner in Fiji.
The last resident British High Commissioner was Paul Nessling. Tonga is a constitutional monarchy. Reverence for the monarch replaces that held in earlier centuries for the sacred paramount chief, the Tuʻi Tonga. Criticism of the monarch is held to be contrary to Tongan etiquette. King Tupou VI, his family, powerful nobles and a growing non-royal elite caste live in much wealth, with the rest of the country living in relative poverty; the effects of this disparity are mitigated by education and lan
An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, history, culture or nation. Ethnicity is an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, origin myth, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion and ritual, dressing style, art or physical appearance. Ethnic groups, derived from the same historical founder population continue to speak related languages and share a similar gene pool. By way of language shift, acculturation and religious conversion, it is sometimes possible for individuals or groups to leave one ethnic group and become part of another. Ethnicity is used synonymously with terms such as nation or people. In English, it can have the connotation of something exotic related to cultures of more recent immigrants, who arrived after the dominant population of an area was established; the largest ethnic groups in modern times comprise hundreds of millions of individuals, while the smallest are limited to a few dozen individuals.
Larger ethnic groups may be subdivided into smaller sub-groups known variously as tribes or clans, which over time may become separate ethnic groups themselves due to endogamy or physical isolation from the parent group. Conversely separate ethnicities can merge to form a pan-ethnicity and may merge into one single ethnicity. Whether through division or amalgamation, the formation of a separate ethnic identity is referred to as ethnogenesis; the term ethnic is derived from the Greek word ἔθνος ethnos. The inherited English language term for this concept is folk, used alongside the latinate people since the late Middle English period. In Early Modern English and until the mid-19th century, ethnic was used to mean heathen or pagan, as the Septuagint used ta ethne to translate the Hebrew goyim "the nations, non-Hebrews, non-Jews"; the Greek term in early antiquity could refer to any large group, a host of men, a band of comrades as well as a swarm or flock of animals. In Classical Greek, the term took on a meaning comparable to the concept now expressed by "ethnic group" translated as "nation, people".
In the 19th century, the term came to be used in the sense of "peculiar to a race, people or nation", in a return to the original Greek meaning. The sense of "different cultural groups", in American English "racial, cultural or national minority group" arises in the 1930s to 1940s, serving as a replacement of the term race which had earlier taken this sense but was now becoming deprecated due to its association with ideological racism; the abstract ethnicity had been used for "paganism" in the 18th century, but now came to express the meaning of an "ethnic character". The term ethnic group was first recorded in 1935 and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1972. Depending on the context, used, the term nationality may either be used synonymously with ethnicity, or synonymously with citizenship; the process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis, a term in use in ethnological literature since about 1950. Depending on which source of group identity is emphasized to define membership, the following types of groups can be identified: Ethno-linguistic, emphasizing shared language, dialect – example: French Canadians Ethno-national, emphasizing a shared polity or sense of national identity – example: Armenians Ethno-racial, emphasizing shared physical appearance based on genetic origins – example: African Americans Ethno-regional, emphasizing a distinct local sense of belonging stemming from relative geographic isolation – example: South Islanders Ethno-religious, emphasizing shared affiliation with a particular religion, denomination or sect – example: JewsIn many cases – for instance, the sense of Jewish peoplehood – more than one aspect determines membership.
Ethnography begins in classical antiquity. The Greeks at this time did not describe foreign nations but had developed a concept of their own "ethnicity", which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek ethnic identity in his day, enumerating shared descent, shared language shared sanctuaries and sacrifices shared customs. Whether ethnicity qualifies as a cultural universal is to some extent dependent on the exact definition used. According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and reality", in Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and Reality: Proceedings of the Joint Canada-United States Conference on the Measurement of Ethni
Tā moko is the permanent marking of the face and body as traditionally practised by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Captain James Cook wrote in 1769: The marks in general are spirals drawn with great nicety and elegance. One side corresponds with the other; the marks on the body resemble foliage in old chased ornaments, convolutions of filigree work, but in these they have such a luxury of forms that of a hundred which at first appeared the same no two were formed alike on close examination. Tohunga-tā-moko were considered inviolable and sacred. Tattoo arts are common in the Eastern Polynesian homeland of Māori, the traditional implements and methods employed were similar to those used in other parts of Polynesia. In pre-European Māori culture, many if not most high-ranking persons received moko, those who went without them were seen as persons of lower social status. Receiving moko constituted an important milestone between childhood and adulthood, was accompanied by many rites and rituals.
Apart from signalling status and rank, another reason for the practice in traditional times was to make a person more attractive to the opposite sex. Men received moko on their faces and thighs. Women wore moko on their lips and chins. Other parts of the body known to have moko include women's foreheads, thighs and backs and men's backs and calves. Moko was distinct from tattooing, in that the skin was carved by uhi, not punctured; this left the skin with grooves rather than a smooth surface. Tohunga-tā-moko used a range of uhi made from albatross bone which were hafted onto a handle, struck with a mallet; the pigments were made from the awheto for the body colour, ngarehu for the blacker face colour. The soot from burnt kauri gum was mixed with fat to make pigment; the pigment was stored in ornate vessels named oko, which were buried when not in use. The oko were handed on to successive generations. A kōrere is believed to have been used to feed men whose mouths had become swollen from receiving tā moko.
Men were predominantly the tā moko specialists, although King records a number of women during the early 20th century who took up the practice. There is a remarkable account of a woman prisoner-of-war in the 1830s, seen putting moko on the entire back of the wife of a chief; the pākehā practice of collecting and trading mokomokai changed the dynamic of tā moko in the early colonial period. King talks about changes which evolved in the late 19th century when needles came to replace the uhi as the main tools; this was a quicker method, less prone to possible health risks, but the feel of the tā moko changed to smooth. Tā moko on men stopped around the 1860s in line with changing fashion and acceptance by Pākehā. Women continued receiving moko through the early 20th century, the historian Michael King in the early 1970s interviewing over 70 elderly women who would have been given the moko before the 1907 Tohunga Suppression Act. Women were traditionally only tattooed on their lips, around the chin, sometimes the nostrils.
Since 1990 there has been a resurgence in the practice of tā moko for both men and women, as a sign of cultural identity and a reflection of the general revival of the language and culture. Most tā moko applied today is done using a tattoo machine, but there has been a revival of the use of uhi. Women too have become more involved as practitioners, such as Christine Harvey of the Chathams, Henriata Nicholas in Rotorua and Julie Kipa in Whakatane. Te Uhi a Mataora was established in 2000 "to preserve and develop tā moko as a living art form". Europeans were aware of tā moko from at the time of the first voyage of James Cook, early Māori visitors to Europe, such as Moehanga in 1805 Hongi Hika in 1820 and Te Pēhi Kupe in 1826, all had full-face moko, as did several "Pākehā Māori" such as Barnet Burns. However, until recently the art had little global impact. Appropriation of tā moko by non-Māori is deemed offensive and high-profile uses of Māori designs by Robbie Williams, Ben Harper and a 2007 Jean-Paul Gaultier fashion show were controversial.
To reconcile the demand for Māori designs in a culturally sensitive way, the Te Uhi a Mataora group promotes the use of the term kirituhi, which has now gained wide acceptance:... Kirituhi translates to mean—"drawn skin." As opposed to Moko which requires a process of consents and historical information, Kirituhi is a design with a Maori flavour that can be applied anywhere, for any reason and on anyone... Tā moko Mokomokai, preserved Māori heads Te Rangi; the Coming of the Maori. Wellington: Whitcombe & Tombs. Jahnke, R. and H. T. "The politics of Māori image and design", Pukenga Korero, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 5–31. King, M. and Friedlander, M.. Moko: Māori Tattooing in the 20th Century. Auckland: David Bateman. ISBN 1-86953-088-8 Nikora, L. W. Rua, M. and Te Awekotuku, Ng. "Wearing Moko: Māori Facial Marking in Today's World", in Thomas, N. Cole, A. and Douglas, B. Tattoo. Bodies and Exchange in the Pacific and the West, London: Reacktion Books, pp. 191–204. Robley, Maj-Gen H. G.. Moko, or Maori Tattooing.
Digital edition from New Zealand Electronic Text Centre Te Awekotuku, Ngahuia, "Tā Moko: Māori Tattoo", in Goldie, exhibition catalogue, Auckland: Auckland City Art Gallery and David Bateman, pp. 108–114. Te Awekotuku, Ngahuia, "More than Skin Deep", in Barkan, E. and Bush, R. Claiming the Stone: Naming the Bones: Cultural Property
A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink and pigments, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. The art of making tattoos is tattooing. Tattoos fall into three broad categories: purely decorative. In addition, tattoos can be used for identification such as ear tattoos on livestock as a form of branding; the word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Samoan word tatau, meaning "to strike". The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo. From Polynesian tatau. In Marquesan, tatu." Before the importation of the Polynesian word, the practice of tattooing had been described in the West as painting, scarring or staining. The etymology of the body modification term is not to be confused with the origins of the word for the military drumbeat or performance — see military tattoo. In this case, the English word tattoo is derived from the Dutch word taptoe. Mainstream art galleries hold exhibitions of both conventional and custom tattoo designs, such as Beyond Skin, at the Museum of Croydon.
Copyrighted tattoo designs that are mass-produced and sent to tattoo artists are known as "flash", a notable instance of industrial design. Flash sheets are prominently displayed in many tattoo parlors for the purpose of providing both inspiration and ready-made tattoo images to customers; the Japanese word irezumi means "insertion of ink" and can mean tattoos using tebori, the traditional Japanese hand method, a Western-style machine or any method of tattooing using insertion of ink. The most common word used for traditional Japanese tattoo designs is horimono. Japanese may use the word tattoo to mean non-Japanese styles of tattooing. British anthropologist Ling Roth in 1900 described four methods of skin marking and suggested they be differentiated under the names "tatu", "moko", "cicatrix" and "keloid"; the American Academy of Dermatology distinguishes five types of tattoos: traumatic tattoos called "natural tattoos", that result from injuries asphalt from road injuries or pencil lead. According to George Orwell, coal miners could develop characteristic tattoos owing to coal dust getting into wounds.
This can occur with substances like gunpowder. A traumatic tattoo occurs when a substance such as asphalt is rubbed into a wound as the result of some kind of accident or trauma; these are difficult to remove as they tend to be spread across several layers of skin, scarring or permanent discoloration is unavoidable depending on the location. An amalgam tattoo is when amalgam particles are implanted in to the soft tissues of the mouth the gums, during dental filling placement or removal. Another example of such accidental tattoos is the result of a deliberate or accidental stabbing with a pencil or pen, leaving graphite or ink beneath the skin. Many tattoos serve as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love and talismans, as punishment, like the marks of outcasts and convicts; the symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different cultures. Tattoos may show how a person feels about about an unrelated person.
Today, people choose to be tattooed for artistic, sentimental/memorial and magical reasons, to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs or a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture. Popular verses include John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, Psalm 23. Extensive decorative tattooing is common among members of traditional freak shows and by performance artists who follow in their tradition. People have been forcibly tattooed. A well-known example is the Nazi practice of forcibly tattooing concentration camp inmates with identification numbers during the Holocaust as part of the Nazis' identification system, beginning in fall 1941; the SS introduced the practice at Auschwitz concentration camp in order to identify the bodies of registered prisoners in the concentration camps. During registration, guards would pierce the outlines of the serial-number digits onto the prisoners' arms. Of the Nazi concentration camps, only Auschwitz put tattoos on inmates.
The tattoo was the prisoner's camp number, sometimes with a special symbol added: some Jews had a triangle, Romani had the letter "Z". In May 1944, the Jewish men received the letters "A" or "B" to indicate particular series of numbers. Tattoos have been used for identification in other ways; as early as the Zhou, Chinese authorities would employ facial tattoos as a punishment for certain crimes or to mark prisoners or slaves. During the Roman Empire and slaves were tattooed: exported slaves were tattooed with the words "tax paid", it was a common practice to tattoo "Stop me, I'm a runaway" on their foreheads. Owing to the Biblical strictures against the practice, Emperor Constantine I banned tattooing the face around AD 330, the Second Council of Nicaea banned all body markings as a pagan practice in AD 787. In the period of early contact between the Māori and Europeans, the Māori people hunted and decapitated each other for their moko tattoos, which they traded for European items including axes and firearms
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding