90 Meaningful and Famous Polynesian Tattoo Designs That are Worth Trying For

The use of tattoos is a not a new trend. As a matter of fact, tattoos have been around for centuries and it already became part of human cultures.

When we are talking about tattoos, it is hard not to incorporate Polynesian tattoos in the list. That is mainly because the majority of tattoos that we are using today are Polynesian inspired and they are really amazing and looks cool as well.

Nevertheless, if you have any idea about Polynesian tattoos, then make sure to explore this articles, because we will show you everything.
So, let’s get started.


Polynesia Tattoo: What Exactly It Is?

Tattooing in Polynesian culture is very sacred, but regardless of that fact, there are lots of Polynesian inspired tattoos out there. However, a Polynesian tattoo is a type of ancient art that is loaded with meanings. For the reason, many tattoo artists opt for this kind of tattoo art.

Designs that are found in Polynesian tattoos are based on various meanings and they are all connected with Polynesian Culture. However, if you love a tattoo art design that is something tribal then a Polynesian tattoo is really a good choice. Even though it is a bit common and popular, millions of people will surely recognize it because of its intricate designs and meanings.


What is the Meaning behind a Polynesian Tattoo?

As what we have mentioned a while ago, Polynesian tattoos are loaded with designs that are being linked to come up with a more artistic and meaningful tattoo art design that could encapsulate one’s status, achievements, and most importantly their personality.

Polynesian chiefs, on the other hand, wore tattoos as a sign of power, though their designs were not visually elaborated however it tells a story about their own culture.
Either way, we listed below some of the Polynesian tattoo symbols along with their meaning.


⦁ Enata or Human Figures


This motif symbolizes gods as well as human. However, the reversed enata signifies an enemy. If this sign is placed upside down they can be used to defeat an enemy.

⦁ Marquesan Cross


This design is based on a turtle’s shell. However, the Marquesan cross is a popular symbol that signifies universal harmony as well as balance amongst elements.

⦁ Lizard


This symbol that is also represented as a gecko embodies a creature that has the capability to connect with gods. Also, it is believed that whoever wears this tattoo design will have a good fortune.

⦁ Stingray


A stingray tattoo comes on a wide variety of styles and variations, also this symbol holds lots of meanings. The stingray, on the other hand, has the capability to furin the immersed sands. In addition, this image also symbolizes stealth, speed, agility, danger, peacefulness, gracefulness, and adaptation.

⦁ Ocean

Polynesians considered ocean as their final destination. In other words, the place where they would drive to pass away. Therefore, ocean symbolizes death. However, it also embodies fertility abundance because many Polynesians heavily rely on water as their source of food.


⦁ Shark Teeth


The shark teeth or also known as nihomano is considered as a widely held Polynesian symbol. It was also believed that sharks are the god of Polynesian persons. Either way, shark teeth represents strength, protection, ferocity, as well as guidance. However, it is also a sign of adaptability for several cultures.

⦁ Tiki


Tiki is the term given to a human-like figure that commonly use to signify semi-gods. Tiki, on the other hand, can also symbolize chiefs, deified ancestors, and priests who turned out to be semi-gods after their short-lived. Nevertheless, Tiki also represents fertility, protection, and serve as guardians.

⦁ Sun


It is considered as the most significant element of a Polynesian culture. As a matter of fact, it stands for rebirth, richness, and brilliance. Not only that, it also signifies leadership and grandness.

⦁ Shell


This symbol comes in two variants, the turtle shells, and seashells. The seashells which are considered as the main source of art represent intimacy and protection. While the turtle shells represent peace, wellness, longevity, and fertility. Even so, shells come with more meanings compared to other Polynesian tattoo symbols though they are rarely seen in several tattoo designs.

⦁ Spear Head


This tattoo symbol is commonly seen from armed forces as it symbolizes fight and courage. However, in relation to sharp objects, a spearhead is very symbolic and they are also used to symbolize animal stings. Spearhead, on the other hand, is usually utilized in combination with other signs in order to express a particular meaning. For instance, a combination of enata and spearheads can express the implication of beating enemies.
7 Famous Polynesian Tattoos That You Will Surely Love and Inspire You
For a very long time, Polynesian tattoos have been very popular and the truth that they have been around for centuries makes them even more appealing. With that, there is no doubt that Polynesian tattoos are really interesting.
Before, having a Polynesian tattoo doomed going over a great deal of ache as well as testing one’s strength. But still, many Polynesians wants to have a Polynesian tattoo.
Either if you are interested in the different Polynesian tattoo designs, then take a look at this list of seven famous Polynesian Tattoos that you will surely love and inspire you.

⦁ Polynesian Back & Leg Tattoo

This tattoo design begins from the shoulders and lengthens all the way to the inferior limbs. However, the Polynesia Back & Leg Tattoo covers the entire side of the body effortlessly. Though it is very obvious that this tattoo design, will cause you pain, needs more time to finish, and a tattoo expert can only make it perfectly.

⦁ Polynesian Back Tattoo


This tattoo design can be a great example of a Polynesian tribal art. As you can see in the image above, this tattoo art will cover your entire upper part of your back. The Polynesian back tattoo, on the other hand, embodies intricate motifs and designs as well as make use of balance shading.

⦁ Samoan Tattoos

In general, Samoan is a complex and large tattoo that is perfect for both men and women. By tradition, Samoan tattoos give some information regarding the wearer’s societal position, age, and rank. In other words, this Polynesian tattoo will help you to figure out some private information about a certain individual.

⦁ Tonga Tattoos

A Tonga tattoo is very similar to a Samoan tattoo. These tattoo art designs were meant to represent one’s life journey, including information about their status, age, and rank.

⦁ Cook Island Tattoos

People from Cook Island make used of tattoos to represent their properties to a particular tribe. However, the designs used in this tattoo art are extremely specific and in fact, the wearer of this tattoo will definitely experience a sense of being in the right place, which makes this tattoo amazing and interesting.

⦁ Tahitian Tattoos


Here is when stuff gets exciting. While other Polynesian tattoos used to highlight the fact that some of them belong a particular community, wheel other relied on tattoos to show how powerful they are, in Tahiti, tattoos are set aside to those who belong to the upper class. Either way, Tahitian tattoos are commonly seen all over the body while on;y a few were displayed on the face.


⦁ Polynesian Tattoo with Spearhead and Fish Motifs

As the name implies, this tattoo features two of the most popular Polynesian tattoo symbols. The fish symbols symbolize blessings and fertility while the spearhead symbolizes swiftness, power, and agility. And as a matter of fact, if you wear this tattoo design you will surely have a good source of inspiration.
Perfect Placement of a Polynesian Tattoo
Actually, the tattoo’s position will definitely affect that way it looks. That is because of the size, colors, and the design itself.
On the other hand, for Polynesian inhabitants, the location of Polynesian tattoos are very important and in fact, they are still implementing this up to this time. However, there is a very big difference when it comes to how Polynesian natives gave importance to their tattoos as well as the tattoos that most of the people have today.
If you’re planning to have a tattoo on your wrist, unluckily Polynesian tattoos are not for you. However, if you want to get a tattoo art on your back, then do it. Why? Simply because good Polynesian tattoos cover a huge part of the body.
Although men are commonly the ones who get a Polynesian tattoo, some of its designs are also popular for ladies. As a matter of fact, ancient women natives got this kind of tattoos for some reasons. For example, females who have a tattoo on their hand can perform the Kava ceremonious at rituals.
Polynesian tattoos are considered as one of first ever reproduced or recorded form of tattoos. However, if you really want to show your love and appreciation for Polynesian culture, choosing a tattoo from the list above is a great way to go. So what are you waiting for? Find a professional tattoo artist and together come up with a good Polynesian tattoo design.

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