Throughout history, tattoos have been used to honor tribes, countries, or even individuals. Historically, people used tattoos as a way to identify themselves as belonging to a particular tribe or culture and to demonstrate their social standing within it. The Polynesian tattoo is one of the most mysterious and fascinating tattoos. Tattoos in Polynesia have a long tradition.
Before deciding which Polynesian tattoo element you want, tattoo artists strongly recommend researching the meaning of this type of ink. The design should be chosen carefully, and the culture from which it came should be respected.
The meanings behind Polynesian tattoo designs are explained in this article. In addition to Samoans, Marquesans, Niuean-speaking peoples, Tongans, and Cook Island Maori, there are Polynesian cultures such as the Hawaiian Maoli, Tahitian Ma’ohi, and Maoris of New Zealand. Indigenous peoples from South Asia can be traced back to them genetically.
Polynesian cultures place a high value on tattooing as an art form. Throughout Polynesian history, tattoos were used as a means of expressing one’s identity and status, as well as belonging to a tribe. In their tattoo design, there were and still are many distinct markings. Tattoos were common in Polynesian culture, and nearly everyone had one. Polynesian tattoos can be found on a wide range of islands in the Pacific.
The word “tattoo” first appeared in Europe in 1771, after James Cook returned from his trip to New Zealand and Tahiti. James Cook adopted the Polynesian way of life, which he dubbed “tattoo.” For over two thousand years, the Polynesian tattoo has been a part of the culture. This was forbidden by the Old Testament in 18th-century America. Since then, a slew of long-forgotten arts has seen a resurgence, particularly in the 1980s.
Tonga and Samoa were the birthplaces of Polynesian tattoo culture. From the waist to the knees, Tongan warriors were inked with a distinctive pattern. In addition to traditional tribal designs, people got their tattoos done with geometric shapes, patterns, and even solid black. It took a long time and was extremely painful to get a tattoo. Those with tattoos, on the other hand, took great pride in their ability to persevere through the pain and bravery.
1. Polynesian Tattoo Head
Humans, according to Polynesian mythology, are the offspring of Rangi, the deity of Heaven, and Papa, the deity of Earth. In the darkness, Rangi and Papa’s 70 children were crammed together in a tight embrace as they slept. The prospect of seeing the sunrise was a common topic of conversation among children. Rangi and Papa’s children are divided over whether they should be killed or separated.
That union is the goal of Polynesian men, according to their belief system. Rangi and Papa’s relationship is based on the fact that they share a body. While the lower part of the body is linked to the physical world, there is a spiritual connection to the upper body.
As a result, the head is the only thing that connects you to Rangi. These Polynesian tattoos are a symbol of knowledge, spirituality, intuitiveness, and wisdom.
2. Polynesian tattoos on the arm
During the tattooing process, each sitting lasted a full day, and each one was followed by a period of healing between the two. Typically, a month was needed to complete the entire tattoo. The entire body was covered in tattoos because the islanders went to so many tattoo rituals over the course of their lives.
When it comes to Polynesian tattoos, placement is everything. In some cases, a tattoo’s meaning is linked to where it’s placed.
Tattoos on the shoulders and upper arms of Polynesian men and women signify courage and strength. They have a reputation as a symbol of valor and strength. The lower arm and hand are also associated with creativity or the making of things.
You can’t go wrong with a Polynesian tattoo on your arm if you want to show off your strength and masculinity. You can use your life story, an important milestone, or something that inspires you as a design for your tattoo. You’ll have a one-of-a-kind tattoo this way.
3. Polynesian for the Legs
These rituals could only be performed by priests who had spent a long time perfecting their tattooing skills. Samoan men tended to get the tattoo, but women did as well. Tattoos on women were typically more delicate and subdued in design.
Legs and feet are a symbol of progress in Polynesian culture. Choice or separation may also be a symbol of legs and feet. Feet serve as a visual representation of the material world and serve as a link to the Papa. The joints, on the other hand, symbolize the union.
These types of tattoos were traditionally worn by Polynesian warriors. Leg art doesn’t get much better than this. The Polynesian tattoo perfectly lines up and shapes the men’s leg with its traditional warrior leg design and meaning. You can show off your muscular strength and endurance by getting a tattoo like this one.
4. Polynesian For Finger
Polynesian tattoo designs incorporate two distinct types of symbols. Tapu refers to designs that evoke fear, while noa refers to those that do not. After the proper ceremonies, tapu elements should be reserved for those of Polynesian descent. It is possible that noa elements would be useful if you are not of Polynesian ancestry.
Of course, Polynesian tattoos are best suited for those who admire the culture. These tattoos aren’t just for the sake of being trendy. They’re meant to be meaningful. That’s correct. It is customary for Polynesian tattoos to be done by hand. If you’re a person of Polynesian descent, you’re more likely than not to get a Polynesian-inspired tattoo.
Generally speaking, Tiki’s hands have three fingers. This is particularly exemplified in the Maori culture, in which each finger has a specific meaning. Generally speaking, they’re used to represent both conception and defense. Tiki can also represent the ancestors, priests, and chiefs of the Polynesian people. Traditionally, that image has been used to represent ancestors who, upon their death, rise to demigod status. It’s as if they’re guardian angels for those with tattoos.
5. Polynesian Tattoos with Sharks’ Teeth
Shark teeth are often shaped as empty triangles or inked triangles in Polynesian art. It is common for shark teeth to be used as a symbol of protection from evil or as a warning that evil is on its way. Shark teeth are also a symbol of Polynesian warriors’ strength in battle. It’s possible to interpret this tattoo in many different ways.
One of Polynesia’s most well-known cultural icons is the shark teeth, also known as niho manos. In Polynesian folklore, they also serve as a symbol of God. Shark teeth appear in nearly half of Polynesian tattoo designs.
Incorporating spearheads, shark teeth, and lizards into a single tattoo is a common practice by tattoo artists. Tattoos, like all other body art, have their own unique symbolism and meaning. To get a tattoo that is truly personal and deserving of being on your body, tell your tattoo artist about the events that led up to getting the tattoo.
6. Polynesian Tattoo Ocean
Polynesian people consider the ocean their second home. In preparation for their final voyage, it serves as their final resting place. The ocean is sometimes used as a metaphor for the afterlife and the afterlife’s afterlife.
It’s no surprise, then, those oceans play such an important role in Polynesian mythology, traditions, tattoos, and other artifacts. And, of course, waves typify the sea and the ocean. It was a common belief among Polynesian cultures that the ocean was where their ancestors had lived.
For tattoo design, the ocean is combined with other elements to create a more complex image. If you decide to get a Polynesian tattoo, keep in mind that each element has a special significance. Be mindful of Polynesian culture and customs, and treat them with courtesy and reverence as you would any other ethnic group.
7. Polynesian culture Tattoo
Tikiki in Polynesia is the name given to an image, a human figure with large eyes, noses, ears, and of course the most important feature, the mouth. There are many tiki myths in Polynesia. Tane, the god of the Maori mythology, is said to have created tiki, the first human being. The Maori believe that tiki is a half-god, half-human creature that is linked to the ancestors. Tiki, on the other hand, is depicted as the demigod who created the first humans in other myths.
Atua, a demigod who appeared to humans in non-human forms such as a lizard, was the polar opposite of the demigod. Tiki has traditionally been depicted with closed eyes and exposed nostrils. Mouths are always wide open, and ears are enormous. Tiki has the ability to detect danger even when its eyes are closed, as demonstrated by these characteristics. It’s able to feel and chase evil.
Tiki’s image has been simplified over time. Brilliant eye” is a name given to this simple design. The tiki’s eye, nostrils, and ears are clearly visible in this instance.
8. Stingray Polynesian Tattoo
Stingray Polynesian tattoos are available in a variety of styles and forms. However, it also symbolizes a lone wolf or a solitary warrior. The stingray is an animal that hides its world power through wisdom and humility.
The stingray, on the other hand, is well-versed in the art of blending into the background of the seabed. The stingray remains calm when danger is close at hand. Sharks are the most common source of danger. A stingray tattoo symbolizes security, adaptability, peacefulness, speed, and stealth. For many people, stingrays are a popular choice for tattoos because they are both quiet and powerful at the same time.
Stingray tattoos are a great choice for those seeking a symbol of peace and security. You can wear a stingray on your arm, chest, or neck in Polynesian design if you’re not afraid to show your emotions. The shape and placement of a stingray tattoo make it a difficult tattoo to complete. In order to get a barb tattoo, an artist must leave room for it behind the body.
In most cases, the stingray can be placed on the chest or back. Since these areas are so large, tattoo artists have plenty of room to work. However, the arm is an excellent location for a small or medium-sized Polynesian stingray tattoo.
9. Polynesia Sea Turtle
One of the most revered animals in Polynesian mythology, the honu (or turtle) is particularly sacred to the Samoan and Hawaiian peoples. Throughout Polynesian history, turtles have been associated with a variety of different things. To begin with, the turtle is a symbol of strength and vitality, as well as of tranquility and repose.
The turtle is a symbol of family unity. Dark lines and tribal shapes are commonly used to create a basic body with limbs poking out. The turtle can also be drawn with lines and dots by tattoo artists.
Polynesian people believe that the ocean is the source of their food and that it is also where they will rest in the afterlife. Turtles are regarded as a symbol of rebirth by Polynesian cultures because of their migration from land to sea.
Turtles are drawn upwards, contrary to popular belief, do not imply that they are transporting the souls of the deceased to another realm. If you want to convey this idea, the design must include a turtle with a human figure on or near its shell.
10. Lizard Polynesian
Lizards and geckos are referred to as mo’o or moko in Hawaiian. Polynesian culture places a high value on them. Polynesian myths frequently depict gods and other spirits in the form of lizards. Because of this, Polynesian lizard tattoos are often shaped like human faces.
Polynesian people regard the lizard as a powerful creature that symbolizes good fortune, communication between God and humans, and the ability to access the invisible world. Those who treat them disrespectfully, however, may experience bad luck and omens as a result.
To create a single piece of art from a lizard’s image is extremely difficult and requires considerable skill to incorporate the image into a variety of tribal designs. Many people believe that lizard tattoos bestow strength and protection on those who sport them.
11. Polynesian spearhead
Typical Polynesian tattoo designs feature a triangle-shaped spearhead or arrow, which is then shaded to look like an arrow. This method of tattooing adds a new level of complexity to the design.
The placement of arrowheads or spearheads is frequently done in such a way that they overlap. The spearhead is a traditional Polynesian symbol of bravery and tenacity in battle. Every Polynesian tattoo has a spearhead in it somewhere.
This tattoo isn’t just for warriors on the front lines of the conflict. You’ll love this tattoo if you’ve got an inner warrior or if you’re fighting for something in your own life. There are times when the battle within ourselves is more important than the battles that take place outside of ourselves.
12. Small Polynesian Tattoo
It all comes down to your perspective on the culture when it comes to the design of the tattoo. To put it another way, your tattoo should include elements that tell the story of your own life. Simply copying another person’s tattoos without taking into account the meaning behind them is always considered to be disrespectful.
You can use it if it’s relevant to your story. Incorporating images from the Polynesian culture into tattoos can create a striking design. As a result, you have the option of including elements that have personal significance to you. Multiculturalism is always popular, so why not incorporate it into the design of a tattoo?
Yes. Keep in mind, however, that this is a novel approach. Tattoos by Polynesians lacked the use of an alphabet. Polynesian tattoo designs and styles can now incorporate letters. Maorigrams is the name given to this technique, which utilizes two Maori symbols shaped into each letter of the alphabet. Be careful, though. If you’re going to get a Polynesian-style tattoo of someone’s name, you’d better make sure they’re special. You don’t want to think about it later.
13. Color Polynesian Tattoo
There are about two million Polynesians, all of whom share a common culture and history as a result of living so close to one another and being able to travel and settle in different parts of the world. The Maori, Hawaiians, Marquesans, Samoans, and other Polynesian peoples live in the Pacific Ocean.
The obvious reason for this is that they are aesthetically appealing. Most men end up getting one of these tattoos even if they don’t know anything about the cultural significance or significance behind it. Tattoos depict the struggle between good and evil in nature and the battle between light and dark, themes that are deeply ingrained in everyone’s psyche. Having a tattoo that represents that struggle seems particularly meaningful.
Another important factor is the prevalence of these tattoos among famous and traditionally masculine men. Just like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Momoa, the mentality is straightforward. These men’s masculinity is a major motivator for them to get these tattoos, as well as their desire to show off their tattoos.
14. WaterColor Polynesian Tattoo
For the Polynesians, there is a universal belief that nature is in a state of perfect balance, which includes man. In their tattoos, they show that all living things and the elements, such as the earth and sea, have mutual respect for each other.
The ocean has a significant impact on these cultures because they are located on islands, and the ocean is a major part of their daily lives. These tattoos were inspired by the ebb and flow of the ocean, its immense energy, and the constant fluctuation between calm and restlessness.
Aesthetically pleasing, yet functionally enhancing, these designs combine intricate patterns, asymmetrical layout, and a continuous flowing style. To get an idea of the variety of mythology and legends that exist in these cultures, take a look at Moana, Disney’s animated film about Polynesian mythology.