For each symbol there is a sacred ceremony. Shells and sea shells symbolize in a wider sense protection, a shield and intimacy. polynesian tattoo meanings and symbols common tattoos and their meanings. Polynesian tattoos are an excellent choice for those wishing to get a tattoo. The most common design constituted a series of dots and lines extending from one ear to the other, covering the forehead of the bearer. The Polynesians were one of the pioneers in the case of these tattoos, and they are the … The Maori word kikopuku used to designate this part of the union of the words kiko (flesh, body) and puku (swollen). And if you are still willing to get the Polynesian tattoos, then you are almost ready to go. This pattern symbolizes... 02. Lizards and geckos are often called mo’o or moko and they play an important role in Polynesian myth. Other themes that go hand in hand with the sting-ray image are adaptation, gracefulness, peacefulness, danger, agility, speed and stealth. All people depending on the sea for sustenance know the important of sociality and socialising. Captain James Cook, who was the first navigator to attempt to explore the Polynesian Triangle in the late eighteenth century, learned about the practice of tattooing while visiting the islands. Ankles and wrists represent a tie and bracelets placed there often symbolise commitment. In Polynesian tattoo designs, the sun often goes with other symbols to express specific meanings. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Polynesian Tattoo Handbook. Spear-heads are very symbolic in relation to sharp items too and they can be used to represent the sting of some animals. The ocean plays a vital role in the life of Polynesian people. 2. Upper arms and shoulder Polynesian Tattoos To represent this, a human figured must be placed on or near the shell of the turtle. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It is the representation of the deep-set cultural values and the people themselves. Polynesian languages and a row of enata in a semi-circular form often represent the sky as well as the ancestors guarding their descendants. Feb 1, 2017 - Explore LuluNation's board "Polynesian Tattoos & Meanings" on Pinterest. One thing that is certain is that the term Polynesian or Polynesia incorporates many tribes including Marquesans, Samoans, Niueans, Tongans, Cook Islanders, Hawaiians, Tahitians and Maori. The entire process could last up to three or even four months. When you use it as a tattoo, it represents protection against possible mishaps that you might encounter. Humans are supposed to be descendants or offspring of Rangi (Heaven) and Papa (Earth), which were assumed to … Knees are often related to chiefs (to kneel before them). Puku as a prefix or suffix is also used as an intensifier of the word it qualifies, enforcing the idea of strong arms. The shoulders and upper arms above the elbow are associated with strength and bravery and they relate to people such as warriors and chiefs. These are only a few examples of the amazing possibilities that you have with Polynesian tattoos. A large number of symbols are used as the motifs in the tattoo designs, . He usually tattooed groups of six to eight (usually men) during a ceremony attended by friends and relatives. When enata appears in the form of a pattern, it looks like a group of people holding hands – a row of enata in a semi-circular formation often represents the sky and the ancestors guarding their living relatives. The intricacy and bold nature of the design is quite appealing. Here is a Polynesian tribal tattoo on the back of this man that has sun as centerpiece. The Rules: The Perfect Tips for the Day of Getting a Polynesian Tattoo. The northern point of the triangle is Hawaii, the eastern point; Auckland area and the western point, Easter Island. Tribal tattoos across Polynesian islands were therefore largely similar, though some differences in style and significance appeared. All the creatures living in the ocean are associated with several meanings, usually mutated from their characteristic traits and habits. The feet, being our contact with Papa, Mother Nature, are also related to concreteness and material matters. When they do, they primarily symbolize protection – since stingrays are able to hide from sharks and other predators in the sand, they are associated with safety and adaptation. The history of tattoos in Polynesia goes back over two thousand years. © 2020 thestyleup.com All rights reserved. Tribal Polynesian: This is another form of tribal tattoo and you can also do this till half the arms. However, not many know about the history and the cultural significance of these designs. That means where you have your tattoo has an influence on the meaning of your Polynesian tattoo. Tiki figures can be portrayed in a front view (sometimes with their tongue stretched out as a symbol of defiance to enemies). Tattoos were, therefore, a mark of adulthood (which was reached at the age of 12) and of particular achievements, as well as being a sign of courage and strength. Sharks are one of the favourite forms that aumakua choose to appear to man. On the other hand, the feminine tattoos (malu) were large in size but lacked the black areas. Placement on the body plays a very important role in Polynesian tattooing. Hawaii is the largest island of the chain of islands called the Hawaiian Islands. Here is the simplified version. Human figures, otherwise known as enata in Marquesan language, represent men, women and sometimes gods. The artists and their models show their work, the jury, ( artists and public) votes for the best work. He narrated the behaviours of the Polynesian people in his voyage, which he called tattaw. The symbol can represent a female, male, or divine figure and, unsurprisingly, hold meanings related to humanity and relationships. The ocean and the sea can be represented by waves. This one was the best Polynesian tattoo on the list for guys, IMHO. Gender-wise, left is usually associated with women and the right to men. Again, the spearhead can either be represented as a singular symbol or as a row of interlocking spearheads forming a linear pattern. Only individuals who have passed a set of rites were permitted to get a tattoo, which would often signify their position and ranking within the local society. There is still debate over the definitive origins of Polynesian culture and that transfers also, to the notion of tattooing.
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