I have been sitting in on tattoo sessions of a friend of mine, Oti. He is getting the full Samoan tattoo called a Sogai Miti (pronounced songuy miki). The process takes about a week and a half, with session usually taking around 4-5 hours each day. The process is absolutely grueling for everyone involved. The Tattooist, in this case Wilson, has to concentrate and be extremely precise for hours on end. The boys stretching the skin must stay, still, attentive and alert for hours. And for the person receiving the tattoo... well that form of pain is understood by very few people on this planet.
But! endurance through pain yields eternal beauty, in this case at least. On the middle of the back, the top most motif is a canoe, showing the man's place as a vessel to carry his family forward. Below that is an upside down triangle thingy; that is a mother fruit bat wrapping it's wings around him and protecting him. The lines below that reinforce family obligations and kinship responsibilities.