Polynesian tattoo meanings and designs

There are so many Polynesian tattoo designs out there that look terrific. The patterns of this ancient art are very delicate and signify different meanings associated with the Polynesian culture. The Polynesian people wear tats that represent their life story and reflect everything from their birthplace to tribe to achievements. The Polynesian chiefs used to wear designs that symbolize power and any non-warrior Polynesian was not allowed to get such designs inked. So, before you decide to get a random Polynesian tattoo, take time to understand Polynesian tattoo meanings and culture. Lucky you, we are here to help you decode this abstract art, so keep reading!

Polynesian tattoo meanings

Tiki

Tiki tattoo

Tiki tattoo

The Tiki is a Hawaiian tattooing design which you can see in many Polynesian temples and pillars. The symbol of this human-like figure with closed eyes depicts the Polynesian gods. These gods are known as Tikis that play the role of a guardian by driving out the negative energy.

Sun

 

Sun tattoo

Sun tattoo

 

 

The Sun is one of the most important symbols of the Polynesian culture. They relate sunrise with reincarnation and sun rays indicates grandness, richness, brilliance, and leadership. According to beliefs, a Polynesian tattoo with the symbol of the sun can also reflect a passage through which one can enter the other world.

Ocean

Ocean tattoo

Ocean tattoo

As with other Polynesian tattoos, the ocean symbolizes different meanings and beliefs. As per Polynesian mythology, the ocean reflects death and the world beyond. It also signifies food and fertility abundance since the Polynesian society highly relies on the sea to get nutrition. The design mainly consists of geometric blank blocks that complete other figures in the tattoo.

Shells

Shells tattoo

Shells tattoo

If you are genuinely passionate about Polynesian tattoo meanings, you must have noticed pods in most of their designs. The seashells signify peace, wellness, fertility, and longevity. Turtle shells are equally crucial for the Polynesians as the turtle is the creature that will take them to the sea-their ultimate destination.

Shark Teeth

Shark Teeth tattoo

Shark Teeth tattoo

The Polynesian society considers sharks as gods, and they wear multiple rows of shark teeth tattoo as it protects them from shark attacks. The shark teeth are known as “niho mano”- a reflection of courage, bravery, adaptability, smart cover up and guidance.

Spearhead

Spearhead tattoo

Spearhead tattoo

The spearhead details give a tribal look to the Polynesian body artwork. The geometric symbol reflects dominance, power, and bravery. According to their ancestors, an alignment of spearheads in the same direction depicts the defeat of the rival in the battle.

Lizard

lizard tattoo

lizard tattoo

The Polynesian society believes that lizard has the divine powers to communicate with their ancestors and gods. It represents good fortune and luck.

Conclusion

Always remember to first decode the Polynesian tattoo meanings before getting a random design inked. A nonwarrior Polynesian can only sport a tattoo that is relevant to his/her rank or caste. A fisher can get a tattoo that represents water, and a farmer can get a design that relates to the earth. The science behind these stories are fun and exciting so don’t forget to ask your artist everything about the tattoo you are going to wear for a lifetime.