Polynesian tribal tattoos are made up of extremely intricate and detailed designs following an ancient art. Polynesian tattoo designing ranges from a variety of designs. In the older days, these designs were significantly used for spiritual, magical and even medicinal purposes. When one wants a tattoo inked to the skin, one must undergo rituals and ceremonies. Now, however, all you need is the guts, the artist and of course – the money.
Some of the most common Polynesian tribal tattoos are the Hawaiian, Samoan, Maori and Aztecs. They each have their own tribal styles that are identifiable to them. Let’s discus about them.
Maori tattoos have been around for over thousand years and were originally practiced by the native Maoris of New Zealand. They are very distinctive and have their own unique identity compared to its Polynesian counterparts. They are characterized by individual lines and repetition of certain motifs and designs. They can be described as essentially curve linear and mostly based on spirals. The original practice was called moko which is extremely painful as it is done by carving the skin with chisels instead of being punctured. It symbolizes status and rank in the society and are usually done of the face, thighs and buttocks. Nowadays, this of course is not the usual practice anymore as modern tattoo artists used this early patterns as inspirations. If one wants an authentic Maori tat theme, he has to find an artist who specializes in it.
Samoan tattoos are called tatatau with ta which means to strike with tatau referring to the line and motifs that are inked onto the body. They are characterized by the dense shading and fine parallel-lines combined with several motifs and geometric patterns like squares, dots and rectangles. This is very significant to the Samoans as they are symbols to identify their status in the society. They usually covered the large part of the body like the back, legs and arms. They are definitely an ethnic marker, a true symbol that one is of Samoan heritage and identity to those who are true to this statement.
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Hawaiian tribal tattoos are usually inked as arm or leg bands. The authentic tattoos represent the rank in a specific tribe. That’s why it can be disrespectful to have a Hawaiian tribal tattoo. It’s like wearing another gang’s colors. Even though Polynesian tattoos have been influenced by Western cultures, a lot of the heritage still remains. A professional artist can create a design for you that resembles Hawaiian tribal tattoos but without the precious symbolism. You can still create a good, unique design. Unless you are Hawaiian, it shouldn’t matter to you if it is not an exact duplicate of a tribal tattoo.
Aztec tribal tattoos to me have been discussing on the article itself, please read the article “About Aztec Tattoos and Symbol Meanings“. Get a tattoo tribes could not arbitrarily, at the very least you need to know the meaning of the tattoo design. Polynesian tribal tattoo is a legacy that should be cherished and preserved its existence. So you should be careful in choosing this tribal tattoo design.