Top 93+ Best Polynesian Tattoo Ideas – [2022 Inspiration Guide]
Polynesian tattoos are most often connected with rites of passage or a significant transformation. Most often etched with precision detail in black ink, they are an essential and immutable part of tattoo culture for men and women.
Modern designs feature unique styles that can often be applied to non-members of the cultural society. The designs are made to accent or emphasize the part of the body tattooed, while telling the story of the owner.
There are also different themes the wearer can choose, from specific tribal gods and key animal motifs, all the way to personal lucky charms and achievements.
The following gallery of the best 93+ Polynesian tattoo ideas showcases the wide array of themes and that go into symbolic tattoo art.
1. Polynesian Tattoos for the Arm
2. Polynesian Back Tattoo Ideas
3. Polynesian Chest Tattoo Art
4. Polynesian Tattoo Ideas for Women
5. Full Sleeve Polynesian Tattoo Ideas
6. Half Sleeve Polynesian Tattoo Ideas
7. Polynesian Leg Tattoo Ideas
8. Polynesian Shoulder Tattoo Designs
9. Small Polynesian Tattoo Ideas
More About Polynesian Tattoo Designs and Symbolism
Almost every tattoo style that originates from a cultural tradition has a set of rules and a framework that gives these designs added significance.
The traditional tattoos of the Polynesian South Pacific islands date back to the Bronze age. Within the cultural context of Polynesia, and the Maori and Hawaiian Island as well, these tattoos have very specific meanings attributed to different patterns and designs.
Traditionally these tattoos were associated with specific tribes from different parts of the islands. They refer to events, life achievements, tribal status, and personal journeys, while in the past, achievements in battle were also signified by body art.
Many of the patterns in this style are drawn from nature, with the layered designs referencing the fishing, hunting, and warrior lifestyle that sustained Islanders for thousands of years.
These different patterns are also associated with inner strength, good luck, feats of physical strength, and spiritual guardians.
Traditionally these tattoos would tell the wearer’s story as well as working to bring them good luck and keep them safe in battle.
Polynesian Tattoo FAQs
One thing I’ve found getting tattoos in different parts of the world is the embrace of different designs and styles to highlight universal themes, symbols, and ideas.
The only time in which I think it’s problematic to get a tattoo based on elements of another’s culture is if they are specifically linked to rites of passage or culturally significant events.
And even then, it’s usually not the type of thing you could get done, as it’s policed within the cultural and tattoo community.
As always, do your research about an idea and if you have doubts get in touch with an expert.
The shoulders, arms, and sides are the most popular areas on the body for Polynesian and other tribal tattoos. The designs are made to accent or emphasize contours of the body, or to look awesome while telling the wearer’s story.
Many get tribal tattoos for the ink durability so the appealing designs last longer, especially when it’s all black ink. The combination of bold lines and clever use of negative space makes for infinite possibilities.
One of the best things about tribal tattoos is that they are highly customizable, so you can really get creative with several patterns inspired by the traditional classics.
Many traditional shapes from tribal tattoos originate or are inspired by different ancient tribes such as Native Americans, Hawaii, Polynesian, Celtic, Filipino, or Haida.
There are also different themes the wearer can choose, from specific tribal gods and animal motifs all the way to personal lucky charms.
These symbols can represent one’s personality, sort of like wearing your heart on your sleeve.