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Song during the painfull tattoo operation
During the who of the process the tattooer, tufuga is assisted by upto six helpers all of whom wish to become masters themselves. One will be responsible for the mixing of the dyes, another is responsible for wiping away the blood, another for dipping the instruments into the dye and receiving instruments that have been used, another cleans and sharpens the teeth of the combs and another will hold the skin tight.

Young women would sit around the person being tattoo, holding them down to stop them moving to much and thus damaging the tattoo, and massaging the head. In addition they will sing a song to try and keep him occupied and keep his mind from the pain in case he starts to complain or cry, which was considered disgraceful behaviour and unfitting for a man.

Below is a song sung repeatedly by women to the men being tattooed.

Friend, stop your wailing and moaning,
That is not the pain of a sick person.
That is the pain of a novice!
Relax your body like giving up,
Give in, o chief!

Chorus:Ah, you suffer beneath the blows,
Ah, till you fall asleep,
And you are not tired nor weary of it!


Soon you will receive your pretty chains of adornment
As yet they are seperate and not joined;
The necklace is still in pieces and not quite finished.
Give in, o chief!


But soon in the evening
You will look at your tattoo
Comparable to a fresh ti leaf.
Give in, o chief!


Ah, if it were a burden
I would carry it for you in my love.
O be quiet and give in,
I will withdraw when the blows have fallen
Give in, o chief!


The stylet and the hammer strike,
The colour is applied so that it may adhere.
Give in, o chief!


Like water flows your blood,
Ah, I feel pity for your condition.
Give in, o chief!


But this is the custom ages old,
You constantly moan, but I sing.
Women must bear children,
Men must be tattooed.
And the tattooer will be struck by the trade wind.
Give in, o chief!


The necklace may break, the string may break
But you tattoo will not break.
This necklace of yours is permanent
And will go into the grave with you
Give in, o chief!