30 Polynesian Tattoo Designs and Meanings


Tattoos are a way of showing everyone how you feel and expressing the depth of the sorrow that resides within you. You can show the inner demons that you have been wrestling with or explain the respect and joy you have about a particular subject. And the Polynesian tattoo is more than just ink on your skin or an art form. It is the representation of the deep-set cultural values and the people themselves. The Polynesians were one of the pioneers in the case of these tattoos, and they are the ones who started to incorporate it into their culture as well.

Each tattoo has different symbols in them, and each of these represents something. There is no meaningless addition to the Polynesian tattoo. You have to see and learn to know that there are some fun ideas to play around with here. Nowadays, these tattoos are becoming a common and popular form of art. They were once native to countries like Tonga and Samoa. Here some warriors used the symbols with tribal print to cover themselves up. The priests in those areas are trained in tattooing. This lets them perform their duties and created the whole design of the tattoo. As we go deep into the article, you will find more meaningful concepts about this process of tattooing.

From here onwards, we will be informing you all about these Polynesian tattoo ideas and the meaning and symbolism attached to them.

polynesian tattoo

Tracing the past of the Polynesian tattoo

If you are looking to know more about the Polynesian tattoo history, then this is the section to look out for. Let us start with the idea of how these tattoos came to be. HIstory says that these tattoos originated in countries like Samoa and Tonga. A lot of people in these cultures try on these tattoos. Mostly, the warriors got inked in the lower half of their body. If you trace the timing of these tattoos, then you can find them to be at least 2000 years. There are a lot of countries who consider symbols to be an integral part of their lives. It is a loved form of art in states like New Zealand, the cook island, Hawaii and the Marquesa islands as well.

Many think that James Cook; who was an Englishmen and a sailor, was responsible for the discovery of these tattoos in Polynesian triangle. It is also said that he bought back the idea to Europe. He also bought back the name of the tattoo to the continent and spread it across. Back then, there were tribes of people getting inked. It was a way to show the hierarchy that the person held in those days. The tattoo confirmed the ranks that a person had on his or her body! This has been passed down to generations, and there are still many who follow the same! You can get more on the matter as you get on with the article.

Meaning of the Polynesian tattoo

A lot of people attach the Polynesian tattoos meaning with strength and courage. But these are only a fragment of what it signifies. You can ask your tattoo artist to tell you what it means to get the various designs of these tattoos in your body as well. And we are also going to help you realize some of the most commonly associated ideas with this form of tattooing. Many small elements are working to form this tattoo, and thus you can be sure that there are micro symbols in them too. There is a vast use of geometric shapes in these forms as well.

These tattoos showcase the courage, willpower, and inner strength of a person. Many believe that they also represent dominance. You can find a large section of spears and shark tooth on the tattoos. They symbolize fierceness and adaptability. If you research more on the subject, you will find that a lot of ideas come from the surroundings of the time and the gods have an individual preference. As you check out these tattoos from near, you will be able to see the use of turtles and shells in these inks as well. They showcase peace, shield, and wellness. They can also be associated with fertility and reproduction.

Symbols and what they represent in the Polynesian tattoo

Many elements are working together in a Polynesian tattoo. Thus we are showing off some of the most popular ones here. You can also learn the meaning of them in this section.

  1. The turtle

This is a symbol you cannot miss in the Polynesian tattoos. They show the eternity of life and harmony. They are also a symbol for family and fertility.

  1. The sun

The sun is said to showcase leadership and grandeur. You can also take it as a symbol of riches and rebirth.

  1. The lizard

The lizard can mean different things to different tribes. They are thought of as survivors of great disasters and are also known to be a force that protects from evil and ill wishes.

  1. The ocean

Most of the time, the oceans are thought of as the world beyond what we now. They are damous as the represented form of the flow of life and the circle of death. It shows fertility and is also a symbol of death.

  1. The shark teeth

They are a symbol of courage and fierce behavior. They show the power and furious nature of any creature.

  1. The spearhead

These were the designs that are associated with war, enemy, and victories. Thus they were mostly loved by the warriors and inked on them. If they face the same direction, it is thought as a state of success over the enemy!

  1. The entata

This is the symbol that represents people in the whole mix. They can mean a group of people usually meaning warriors or brothers.

  1. The stingray

The stingray has been added on to countless tattoos over the years. They represent a state of peace and grace. You can also relate them to speed and agility.

Things to not miss in the Polynesian tattoo

There are many things in the tattoo to be amused by for sure. But you need to know that certain things in here are brilliant. You cannot miss them if you are a lover and admirer of tattoos. There are symbols in abundance here, and they have special meaning to them that makes it exciting. You can learn about them in this section here.

Polynesian tattoo turtle

The Polynesian tattoo has a special place for the turtles. They are called the leader in many tribes. They are held in high regards as well. You can associate them with longevity, fertility, and union as well. These are the creatures that will make appearances multiple times in these forms of tattoos. So you can be on the lookout for those.

Polynesian tattoo sleeve

The idea of getting tattooed to look like sleeves is genius. You can see a lot of men with a hand full of ink. It seems as if they have a shirt of ink on them. You can check them out on this article for sure, and if you are intrigued, you can get it done on yourself too. Make sure you ask your artist to follow a beautiful pattern as it is the tattoo you will show off the most.

The tiki

It is believed that they were the first humans of the world, and thus the tiki holds a magnificent significance. They are present in a lot of tattoos, and you can see them in shapes of faces. People believe that they have some supernatural power to them as well. So you can find distinct designs on them. They are the creator of humanity according to myth.

Places where you can add on the Polynesian tattoo

Not many tattoos have an essential place for placement, and we do know it. You can see that most people select body parts to get inked on their own choices. But in case of the Polynesian tattoo, it is crucial to think of the area of placement. There is a belief that the upper part of the human body is related to the heavens with the gods. And the lower sections are the ones in touch with the earth. This comes from the story of the union of Rangi (Heaven) and Papa (Earth) for the creation of man. So many of the tribes believe that man should seek union again. And the body is to act as the link between the two worlds!

Thus if you are to follow the traditional practices, it is ok for you to take the upper section of your body and ink it in the name of god! It is also said that the right part of the body is the side of the man. And the left is the side of the woman. Thus women are seen tattooing on the left. Women also tend to prefer the wrist for the process, whereas men are more attracted to the arms, back, and the legs. You can also disregard this and get inked where you feel like.

Types of Polynesian tattoo to try out

There are many kinds of tattoos under the Polynesian tattoo to try out. You can find a lot of options, and we are showing off some of the best in here. We discussed the best ones here.

The tiki tattoo idea

This is one idea that you cannot miss in the Polynesian tattoo. You are sure to have known by now that they are the first human according to the legends. Thus they are given a particular place and are carved out in temples as well. He holds a special place of respect in people’s hearts.

The Samoan tattoo

These tattoos are not only for entertainment for sure. They are used to show the position and power of a person. It is used to indicate the age, rank, and status of a person. They are called as the pe’ a and is usually a rounded form of design. If it is done on females, it is called malu.

The Hawaiian tattoo

Here the meanings of tattoos are a bit deeper. There is vast use of flowers and patterns for sure. But these are the tattoos you get to honor a loved one usually. It can also include turtles. It was also believed that having tattoos protected the wearer.

The turtle tattoo

The turtles were thought of as the bearer of good health and family. They were associated with fertility and union and the longevity of life. People thought of them as a link between the human’s soul and the afterlife as well. So there is deep philosophical meaning to them!

Marquesan tattoos

The first people of Polynesia are thought to have been on the lands of the Marquesa. And later they spread around and built different tribes. These tattoos are made of aesthetic purposes and are not known to have other needs rather than beauty.

Tonga tattoos

These tattoos show the life story of a person, and thus, it differs from one person to the other. The patter and significance all vary from person to person. There are many ideas to take form this one for sure


polynesian tattoo Ideas to try out for females interested in Polynesian tattoo

If you are looking for Polynesian tattoo female ideas, then this is the perfect place. Since there is a lot of symbols used in these tattoos, it is sure that the meaning for them is different in the case of men and women. Not only the symbol, but what they look like is also different. Some tribes have named the tattoos for women as malu as well. So you will be able to differentiate between the ones that men get and the ones that women prefer.

Some elements remain the same, though. Like the vast use of the symbols and large chains in them are beautiful. You can see that these are the ideas to love and try out if you are a beginner to the inking process as well. You can find your way into these designs and look for female Polynesian tattoo meanings too. There is no denying that these are ideal for anyone to use and they can be unisex as well. If you like, then you can get the full-bodied ideas from the men’s section as well. There are no rules, after all!

Also See:

115 Epic Anchor Tattoos That Every Tattoo Lover Must See

101 Awesome Sugar Skull Tattoo Ideas

155 Extraordinary Female Thigh Tattoos Designs With Their Meanings


Polynesian tattoo to try with a band style!

These are tattoos that are way old for sure. These tattoos are gaining popularity and are also taking on the modern touch. Artists love to experiment with things and thus it is not safe from a bit of evolution for sure. There are new ideas in these tattoos too, and we are here to share one that seems to drive everyone gaga over it. Getting a tattoo band is the right way of showing that you have a fun personality. And thus we are showing you how to get it in here. There are many ideas here, for sure.

All you need to do is choose the thickness and work out the pattern for this. After that, there is no need for you to choose from anything else. You can look your best and show it off as you fold your sleeves as well. So what are you waiting for? Add on that touch of grace to your hands and get the look you want. The use of symbolism can make it unique for you as well. So you can work on it as well if you have time to spare!

How do you decide what tattoo to get?

When you decide to get a tattoo, there can be a lot of ideas and concepts in your head. You can have a hard time to come up with one option to choose from. So a beginner may have a hard time to find the one for themselves. You can take help from your tattoo artist to figure out what kind of design is best for you. It is perfectly normal for people to get scared to agree to this commitment. You can stick to trying out the ones that are short and sweet. Sometimes a simple Polynesian turtle idea can also make you look edgy!

You can also follow your heart and make the decision yourself. Here we are showing off more than 100 ideas so that you can take your pick and consider what you want and love. These tattoos have a meaning of their own, so make sure you understand them before you get them. The lovely ideas are usually coming from your life itself so you can take inspiration from anything and mold it into a design. Carry it off on your body with pride, and this can also be a great conversation starter!

How to take care of your tattoos

You need to make sure to take good care of your tattoo once it is completed. It is not going to be an excellent design if you do not pay attention to it. So if you just got yourself a tattoo, you need to do certain things and follow some routines as well.

  1. The first thing to pay attention to is to make sure you get proper anti-bacterial cream on your tattoo. You need to do this at least twice a day.
  2. You may tend to itch your ink after some time. Do not get your nails near these areas. You can scratch them, and the ink may fade in that area.
  3. Take the help from your tattoo artist to get the good ointments to apply to your skin.
  4. The wounds you get as you tattoo your skin needs to heal before you wash it.
  5. Make sure you keep your tattooed skin away from the touch of direct sunlight.
  6. Visit your tattoo parlor if you think you need to touch up your tattoo.
  7. Make sure you keep a cotton cloth on top of the tattoo when you shower. You cannot get your tattoo soaking in water. Doing so can fade the color.
  8. You will need to wait for at least two hours before you wash out your tattoo once done.

To wrap things up!

There are many elements that make up a good Polynesian tattoo. You will find these to be amusing. You can use as many elements on to your ink as you like. There are simply no limitations here in the world of inks. You can add on anything that excites you into these tattoos. Create a design and add on symbols that have a special meaning for you. That way, you can enjoy the endearing feeling of having a customized ink as well.  There are lovely dark hues on most of these tattoos, and they are showing off a powerful vibe too.

If you check each of these segments out carefully, we are sure you will be able to find something to get on board with soon. There is no need for you to go through countless hours of browsing as we made sure to place all the best ideas in this section itself. Make sure you are prepared for the whole process since most of these tattoos have that elaborate detailing on them. Firstly you must figure out the level of work you want to be done. If you are looking to get a big impressive look, this is the way to go, and we are excited for you as well!

Here are some outstanding Polynesian tattoo ideas to work with this season. These tattoos have some highly detailed work on them. These tattoos are thus gaining a lot of popularity. And thus we are sure you will love to try it on as well. We can get the ink to look as thick and as bulky or as thin and subtle as you would like. You can feel your best as you get the needed customization for these tattoos. Make sure to remember us for more on such topics and help to spread the word about this as well! This way you can help us as well as we help you find the best in beauty and glam!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here