Polynesia is the name used for a group of islands where the Polynesians have lived over the years. The Polynesian people have moved far and beyond through the islands and so have their cultural edifice. The Polynesian tattoos carry a deeper meaning and significance for the natives. The tattoos to the native Polynesians act as a symbol of courage. Men often wore a Polynesian tattoo simply because it enhanced their attractiveness. Tattoos in the Polynesian culture offers protection and are worn as a talisman, also acting as a rite of passage, the first tattoo marking the transition from childhood to adulthood.
There are many symbols used in the Polynesian tattoo designs, which are as discussed below:
You will often find spear heads etched into most of the Polynesian tattoo designs. The spear heads represent courage, fight, sharp items, warrior, and sting of animals and rays. You might have observed that the spear heads are often used varyingly, each pattern carrying a different meaning.
‘Enata’ is a typical motif in Polynesian tattoos which is used as a symbol for humans and gods. These symbols are used to represent many aspects of life such as marriage and other life experiences. The Enata has quite deeper meanings in comparison to other Polynesian symbols since it is deeply associated with life.
Gecko or lizard
Lizards or the gecko have quite an important place in the Polynesian tattoos since they are considered to be a symbolic representation of the Polynesian gods. They are also regarded as the ancestors of the Polynesian people, which is why they have very similar design to that of the Enata.
If you are one eager to have Polynesian tattoo inked on your body, this is one symbol you definitely want to consider, especially for all the good reasons it is put up in a tattoo. Shark is again a symbolic representation of the Gods of Polynesian people. Shark teeth represent shelter, power, adaptability, guidance, and ferocity.
For the Polynesian people, ocean is a symbol of their final destination, hence at times a representation of death or the world beyond in their Polynesian tattoo designs. However, ocean is also considered to be a source of their food and hence is sometimes used a symbolic representation of life, fertility, and persistence. At times, ocean waves are also used to represent the world beyond, the homeland for the ancestors, a place where all would eventually be.
Tikis are human like figures that represent the Polynesian semi-Gods. This means that they are defiled ancestors and heads who are sublimed after their death. A Tiki symbol in any Polynesian tattoo is generally a representation of protection owing to their guardian role. Furthermore, different organs of Tikis carry different meanings when inked within a tattoo.
Sun, shells (mainly tortoise), and Marquesan cross are some other popular Polynesian symbols used in the tattoos. We have gathered 70 awesome Polynesian tattoo designs for you to go through and choose the one most appropriate for you.