Polynesian tattoo is an inherited body art from Polynesia which is a group of over thousand islands in the Pacific Ocean. The style and pattern of these designs differ from one island to another even though the body art was common across all the islands. These designs are further a classic combination of a rich history along with a set of traditional meanings and significance. A large number of rituals are associated with these tattoos as these were considered as sacred and pious by the Polynesians. The bearer has to follow these regulations before as well as after getting the design inked on his body parts. Ancient people were inking the Polynesian tattoo designs using a set of traditional instruments like bamboos, bird bones, and turtle shells. These people were considering the entire tattooing process to be of great significance and were accompanying the tattooing with song and dance.
The healing process was very much time consuming and painful, but the islanders loved to bear these designs as a symbol of courage, power and even their position, rank, or standing in the society. A person was eligible to bear this tattoo after completion of twelfth year which is considered as the transitional period from boyhood to manhood. The person was further bearing additional tattoos with any addition to his existing admiration and respect. Both men and women loved to bear these Polynesian tattoo designs. Most common feature of these tattoos was their elaborate designs, abstract style, and significance based on their tradition and customs. But the features were varying based on the expression the bearer wants to convey through these designs. Based on his intended self-expression these tattoos were inked with different size, shape, style, color and placement on the body. The bearer and artists had options to manipulate the designs based on their preference and meaning.
Most of the women love to sport smaller sized tattoos on their arms, hands, chins, and lips. Whereas, the men prefer to bear elaborate designs covering their entire shoulders or a large part of their backs. These Polynesian tattoo designs also vary based on the associated style like Tahitian, Hawaiian, Samoan, and Marquesan. These deigns were further distinguished based on a specific island and skill of the tattooing artist. Before inking such a design on your body, you have to be 100% about the exact meaning you want to convey through the tattoo. Spend some time selecting the exact design after going through the various designs along with their associated symbolism, meaning, and significance.
Polynesian Tattoo Designs Representing the Art of a Thousand Islands