Stretching from his waist to his knees, Clyde Cowley’s tattoo is a breathtaking sight.

The intricate work is a traditional Samoan design, known as a “pe’a”.

Dating back to the 1800s, the process takes many weeks to complete and is not lightly undergone.

tattoo

The pe'a stretches from the waist to the rectum and then to the knees

But once a man has received his pe’a, he gains the title "soga’imiti" and becomes respected for his courage. Untattoed males are known as "telefua" or "telenoa" – “naked”.

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According to Samoan Sensation, women also receive the tattoos, but they are “of a much lighter nature, resembling a filigree rather than having the large areas of solid dye.”

The handmade tools used to create the tattoo are made from bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood.

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  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

  • Clyde Cowley displays his pe'a, a traditional Samoan tattoo during in Auckland, New Zealand. The pe'a covers the body from waist to the rectum and then to the knees and is only crafted using handmade tools of bone, tusks, turtle shell and wood. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

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