22. February 2011 · Comments Off on Polynesian Tattoo Designs – What You Need to Know · Categories: Arts And Entertainment · Tags: , ,

There are thousands of tattoo designs to choose from on websites and in catalogs. Tattoos in general are becoming more popular these days and it is tribal Polynesian designs that are becoming increasingly more common.

You need to understand that there are two distinct styles when is comes to Polynesian tattoo designs. The first of these is called Etua. Etua have a strong spiritual and religious meaning to them. They are also magical symbols offering protection from the gods . While the other style Enata can be described as natural designs which describe the person, there identity and status. This includes their social level, island of origin, occupation and history.

Symbols within Polynesian tattoo designs and their meaning are as follows –

Shark teeth – Sharks’ teeth tattoos are for protection. Turtles – A turtle symbol represents long life and fertility. Shells – Shells are a symbol of prosperity to the Polynesian people and it is possible that they were used as the earliest form of currency. Sharks – The shark itself is seen as sacred. Polynesian shark tattoos are used as a symbol of protection from threats. Gecko – It is believed that the gecko has powers of a supernatural nature and are feared but also held in awe by the Polynesians. It is also believed that if a green gecko laughs then it is an awful omen of bad fortune and illness. Tiki – The god Tiki is often shown with eyes closed. This is because Tiki is able to smell trouble before it is seen.

The people of the Polynesian islands are spread far and wide. They include The Cook Islands, Samoa , Tonga, Easter Island, Tahiti, French Polynesia and even Hawaii. The people across these islands developed into there own distinct cultures over thousands of years. However what is fascinating is the cultural similarities that developed especially in the practice of tattoo artistry. However Polynesian tattoo designs of today do not mean as much in this day and age as people love them for the design rather than magical protection or a statement of status.

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