115+ Cool Polynesian Tattoos Designs with Meanings (2021)

Polynesian tattoos originate from the rich Polynesian culture. Polynesia is a group of islands that stretch hundreds of miles in Oceania. There are hundreds of islands on this triangular stretch that share similar languages, festivals, and cultural elements. The biggest among them all is the country of New Zealand.

Polynesian Tattoos History

If you dig into the history of Polynesian people you will be surprised to know that how well they sailed the seas and discovered hundreds of new islands. It was not easy to survive at the sea for months. It was never easy to navigate across the sea but the Polynesians used the stars to their advantage.

The famous Disney movie Moana pays homage to the Polynesian culture. In the film, Dwayne Johnson plays the role of a mythical demigod Maui. It is shown that the legendary warrior Maui has many tattoos on his body that tell the tale of many battles he has fought. Each tattoo describes different phases of Maui’s life.  This was not just an entertaining add-on.

Polynesian people do give a lot of importance to their tattoos and it is evident from the fact that the village chief or the tribal lord used to have the most tattoos as compared to other men in the tribe. In fact, in ancient times the village chief used to wear crown tattoos to indicate their place hold in the tribe.

There is a reason that Polynesian tattoos are still so popular. First of all, the atheistic and artistic designs from the Polynesian culture are no match to other ancient cultures. Secondly, the Polynesian tattoos branched into Maori, Samoan, Hawaiian and Aztec designs which are also very popular among modern tattoo lovers.

You might have stumbled across many cool tribal tattoo designs on the internet. Let me tell you that around one-third of them are inspired by the Polynesian cultures. If you have made up your mind to get a Polynesian tattoo for yourself then you have come to the right page as here we will not only give you hundreds of unique Polynesian designs but also tell you what kind of tattoo you should go for.

Polynesian Tattoos Meanings

Polynesian tattoos were inspired by their mythology and stories of their heroes. Polynesian people placed animals and plants in high regard as they considered them the lifeline of the planet. They believed a lot in maintaining the ecosystem in balance. This is the reason why even today New Zealand is among the least polluted countries in the world.

Mainly Polynesian tattoo designs were based on –

Gods – Polynesians considered the Sun, Moon, and Sea as the Gods. Even though there were distinct differences in the traditions of east and west Polynesia but one thing was common and that was the love for their god tattoos. Many circular designs indicated the Sun and Moon. You can try a similar approach and give a unique take by adding a galaxy in the background.

Animals – Polynesian tattoos often included wolf, turtle, kiwi, shark, whale, snake, lion, and even hyena. You can pick any animal of your choice and try its Polynesian version.

Stars – Since the constellations played a vital role in exploration, therefore, Polynesian people used to have Star tattoos as well.

Heads – This fact might sound scary to you but many Polynesian tribes used to cut the head of their enemies and used as a sigil on their flags. When Britishers came to new Zealand they found many Polynesian tribes had walls of well-preserved enemy heads.  Not only this but many Polynesians used to have the head-on spike tattoo on their body.

Farming – Polynesians respected nature and did their best to maintain the ecosystem during their reign. They will often try new methods of farming to maintain soil fertility. Many Explorers documented in their books that Polynesians had a strange affection for crop tattoos as well.

All in all, you can try any tattoo design in the world and you will find a better-looking Polynesian version of it. Take a look at these 100+ beautiful Polynesian designs that show how artistic those people were

Polynesian Tattoo Designs

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Full Sleeve Polynesian Tattoo Designs

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Polynesian Armband Tattoos

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Tribal Polynesian Tattoos

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Polynesian Symbol tattoo Designs

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Flower Tattoo Designs in Polynesian Style

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Polynesian Tattoo ideas For Men

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Polynesian Tattoos For Women

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Maori Polynesian Tattoos

Also Read: Maori tattoo designs

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Conclusion

Polynesian tattoo designs holds a special place for Oceanic people. If you are inspired from their culture then make sure you do not disrespect it. Therefore it is must to have a tattoo design that pays homage to the tribal people.

References: Polynesian People