Thousands of tattoo designs are available on websites and in catalogues waiting to be selected. Tribal Polynesian designs are becoming more common while tattoos in general are becoming more popular these days.
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Polynesian tattoo designs come in two specific and different types, The first of these is known as Etua. Etua possess an intensely sacred and spiritual sense in their imagery. Some symbols are said to be magic and will keep one safe from the wrath of the gods.
The type of design known as Enata can be thought of as characterizing a person with their identity and status. This includes their social level, island of origin, occupation and history.
Polynesian tattoo designs have symbols that mean the following:
Shark teeth – Sharks’ teeth tattoos are for protection.
The turtle is a universal icon of longevity and fruitfulness.
Sea shells are a popular pattern especially among Polynesians and in the past have been linked with wealth.
Sharks – The shark itself is seen as sacred. In Polynesia shark tattoos are considered to offer safety in the face of 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 the laughing of a green gecko brings an awful omen of misfortune 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 Polynesian island inhabitants are wide spread. They include The Cook Islands, Samoa , Tonga, Easter Island, Tahiti, French Polynesia and even Hawaii. The people across these islands developed on their own distinct cultures since thousands of years ago.
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.