Polynesian tattoo – the ancestral art that marks body and mind

The peoples of the Pacific are among the greatest followers and connoisseurs of bodyart. The practice of polynesian tattoo is an ancestral custom for Tahitians, Samoans, Marquesans. For Polynesians, this is a ritual and getting a tattoo means more than visual and artistic work. In Maori culture, a man’s power could be measured by the size and number of his tattoos. Even if it is not obvious for an untrained eye to recognize them at first glance, the patterns of the Polynesian tattoo are a subtle combination of symbols linked to nature and particularly to the sea. Thus turtle, lizard, sun, seashell and other living things discreetly hide in the Maori designs. The choice of these patterns is certainly not trivial and must be personalized to each person, according to their character and their various compatibilities. Even though it is now widespread throughout the West, the art of tattooing, or “tatau” in Polynesian, remains closely linked to the centuries-old culture of the Maori. Beyond the pattern, its application to the skin is also a traditional method. Indeed, the Polynesian tattoo artist uses a particular ancestral instrument, made from turtle scales, which he will strike in order to make the ink penetrate the skin.

Detailed Polynesian tattoo, covering shoulder and biceps

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Double symmetrical Polynesian tattoo on the calves

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Polynesian tattoo, from ankle to mid thigh

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Maori arm tattoo

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Polynesian with traditional tattooed face

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Maori turtle tattoo on the shoulder

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Maori tattooed left arm

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Bust fully covered with a Maori design

Hawaiian tattoo on the shoulder

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Polynesian calf and shin tattoo

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Maori tattoos for men

Polynesian shoulder tattoo

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Polynesian tattoo covering the entire arm

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Maori tattoo on left arm

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Symmetrical Maori tattoo on the chest

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Cheap polynesian drawing with felt on the calf

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Marquesan tattoo on calf

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Polynesian tattoo on the arm

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Samoa tattoo

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Tahitian tattoo

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Tribal calf snake tattoo

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Tahitian Tattoos For Women

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Maori woman with a traditional tattoo on the shoulder

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Woman with Arms Tattooed in Maori Patterns

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Tahitian flower motif tattoo on the shoulder

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Samoa tattoo

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Maori symbol of a manta ray tattooed on the back

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Tahitian woman with tattoo on her back

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Maori tattoo on the arm

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Maori woman shoulder tattoo


Woman’s back tattooed with a tribal pattern

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Woman tattooed from ear to shoulder

Polynesian Maori woman neck tattoo

Woman’s left leg tattooed with a Polynesian motif

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