The most commonly used Polynesian word in the English language is tattoo. When and how the word ‘tattoo’ came to be used is the topic of many a debate but there is no doubt that it is a modification of the Polynesian word ‘tatua’. Thus, Samoan tattoos are in fact the original kind of tattoos. Their designs have a typically tribal look and they are always black and not coloured. Yet they always manage to look exquisite and complicated.
Samoan tattoos feature a lot of shells. These are mostly turtle shells which represent longevity, fertility, wellness and peace. At other times it shows sea shells which symbolize shields, protection and intimacy. They also use the ‘Marquesan cross’, which symbolizes the delicate balance between the different elements of nature. There are several other such typical symbols that are used by Samoan tattoos. These tattoos are generally widespread and cover large lengths of your body.
Samoan Arm Tattoo with the Sun
Suns are a part of many Samoan tattoos. They are generally included with other typical symbols to express important meanings. The sun in the Samoan culture stands for riches, brightness, grandeur and leadership. This is the more general meaning of the sun. But this can be varied with the use of other symbols and designs. The kind of rays that are used or the sun’s expressions etc are important determinants of what the tattoo actually symbolizes.
The Samoan Turtle
The turtle in the samoan culture is an important animal. In general it symbolizes longevity, wellness and peace. Turtle shells are commonly used in samoan tattoo designs.
Samoan Leg Tattoo
This kind of a tattoo stretches through the entire length of your calf muscles. It includes all the typical Polynesian symbols of the ocean, fish and so on. The great skill of the Samoan tattoos is in the excellent way the different symbols are assembled to blend into one another and emerge as a beautiful design!
Samoan Shoulder Tattoo
This kind covers your entire shoulder blade and a large part of your upper bicep. It includes the normal symbols with swirls and spirals to fill in the gaps. The ocean symbols often help in this task. The ocean in the Samoan culture symbolized death to the world beyond because the Samoan people believed that the ocean is where one went after they died.
Samoan Arm Tattoo
This kind of a tattoo runs along the length of your entire arm. It is like a full sleeve tattoo. It looks like a part of an Armour that you may be wearing. It sports the typical Polynesian symbols and looks as excellent as all the other Samoan tattoos.
Samoan Spinal Cord Tattoo
This is a design that runs along your entire spine and forms its structure with the help of typical Polynesian symbols. The assembly of these symbols goes on to express different meanings. But when looked at by a layman it looks like a beautiful drawing of your spine.
Samoan Face Tattoo
This tattoo goes over your face and neck. It gives you a daunting ancient warrior look. It includes symbols like the spearhead which shows courage and a warrior’s skill and the ‘enata’, which are Polynesian human forms representing god and its power.
Samoan Foot Tattoo for Women
These include floral patterns with the other typical Polynesian symbols. The flowers make it look more feminine and these tattoo designs are thus opted for only by women.
Samoan Forearm Tattoo
This tattoo fits your forearm like an exquisite band. It looks like some ornament that would be worn by the old Egyptian pharaohs. It has the same overall look like the other Samoan tattoos but means whatever the symbols included in it symbolize.