Polynesian and Maori tattoos
Polynesian Tattoo, Maori tattoo.
Polynesian tattoos represent a collection of different styles, such as the very popular in itself ornamental style. For many centuries the drawing on the body from the family symbol has turned into drawing for decorative purposes. However, even today, a tattoo shop customer should choose the tattoo design with particular care, as it may have a specific meaning.
Polynesian tattoos come from the Pacific Islands. For hundreds and thousands of years, Polynesian tribes have passed tattoo art from generation to generation. As a result, we know this style unchanged today and represent great wealth for mankind because many nations have lost similar knowledge over time. Polynesian tribes associated tattoos with transition rituals. Everyone received the first drawing on the body as a symbol of parting with childhood and the welcome of adulthood. The shaman applied this drawing using shells, shark teeth, or fish bones. However, it was not considered that such paintings were followed by dozens of others. Tattoos for Pacific Island tribes also served a social function. Only leaders and close leaders could have the shaman make drawings on the body, while for others the ministry of the "tattoos" was limited. An ornament-like pattern was applied by natives not only for beauty. These models kept information about their social status, origin, type of profession, exceptional talents. Usually the patterns on the body served as a talisman.
Distribution in the world
The interest in the Polynesian style of tattooing, as well as the interest in tattooing itself, was not stable in a developed society - more like a wave. The last “wave” came around the sixties and this tattoo is still up to date. Patterns of exotic nations, such as drawings of American Indians, Polynesian tribes, and the inhabitants of the Far East, became popular and remained at the cutting edge of fashion. Since then modern ornamental tattoos have occupied a significant place among other kinds of art. How did Polynesian tattoos reach Europe? There is no precise answer to this question. Polynesian tattoos began to spread in the 19th century in connection with the occurrence of tattooed natives who performed at big city fairs as part of a “performance”. There is also a theory that one of the island leaders began selling the heads of the executed tribesmen to wealthy people from abroad. These heads, which had tattoos on their skin, were imported to Europe. Polynesia is characterized by complex and impressive patterns. In one tattoo you can see different spirals, waves, ribbons. Drawings also include lines - thick and thin, straight and broken, distinct and smooth, wavy. Although at first glance the Polynesian tattoo is chaotic, symmetry and overall harmony of the elements are very important for this style. Paradoxically, this can be achieved.
Types of Polynesian tattoo
According to the theme, Polynesian ornamental drawings are quite diverse. You can meet animals, including marine animals, plants, celestial bodies and, of course, geometric patterns. These patterns often have a specific meaning. For example, the moon symbolizes femininity, while the shark symbolizes fitness and power. Depending on the type of tattoo, Polynesia can be divided depending on the tribes and nations that applied them. Of course, the style in all kinds of Polynesian tattoos is the same, but there are some differences. For example, Maori tattoos are typically curls, loops, circles, and large specimens. On the contrary, Samoan and Tonga are characterized by small details. Skulls and flowers are among the popular themes among the people of Hawaii. Easter Island natives also showed increased interest in these topics.
Maori tattoo pattern
The tattoos of most Oceania tribes are traditionally quite extensive and cover the entire human body. Occasionally, the patterns were applied only to the shoulders, chest, abdomen or face. Such cases were the exception rather than the rule. Previously, both men and women had tattoos: the first - to intimidate the enemy, the second - for beauty. A characteristic feature of Maori tattoos is the careful drawing of all the smallest details. The pattern usually consists of thin, distinct lines that ultimately develop into a luxurious pattern. The technique of applying Maori tattoos is very complex, and this is also because the ornament is done in the form of a spiral: the overall pattern must be visually rotated around an invisible axis. That's why you should only trust similar tattoos to highly professional tattoos.
In Black House Tattoo, Polynesian tattoos are done mostly by:
You can also read more about tattoo selection here:
Gallery of Maori and Polynesia tattoos by our tattooists: