48 Coolest Polynesian Tattoo Designs

This collection of Polynesian tattoo designs includes both, tattoo sketches and pictures of people with these tattoos. Whether you’re a tattoo artist or someone interested in getting a tattoo, this is the collection for you.

What does a Polynesian tattoo mean?

Symbols of Polynesian tattoos are based on the elements of Water, Earth, Wind, and Fire
Polynesian tattoos are basically tribal tattoos associated with the majestic land of Polynesia. This is a triangle in the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand, Hawaii Islands, and Easter Island make this triangle.

Polynesian tattoo design is a niche or tribal tattoo design, but this is not the smallest niche. There are further sub-niches such as Maori tattoos, Tahitian tattoos and Hawaiian tattoos. Most of those niches are covered in this post. But before we take a look at those tattoos, we must learn what these tattoos represent.

One can never really learn to appreciate the Polynesian tattoo designs until he/she learns a bit about the cultures and heritage of Polynesian nations, so let’s have a quick look on that.

Background Info for Polynesian Tattoos

Polynesia on the Globe

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Polynesia is a triangle – yes, like Bermuda – but this one is in the pacific ocean. Fifteen tiny nations live in this triangle. All those nations comprise similar cultures. The cultures of warrior spirit, simplicity and proximity to nature. These are the values Polynesian tattoos endure.

Polynesian islands comprise dense rain forests. Since there was no place for agriculture, hunting became the lifestyle of islanders. Their lifestyle made these people strong, strong not just physically but strong of character. But the hunting spirit does not mean they became some ruthless people… oh no. On the contrary, respect for nature is one of the basic traits of the Polynesian tribes. They are humble, tranquil people.

Since these are small nations, some of them consisting of only a few thousand people, they believe in living united. Staying true and helping each other.

Getting back to our subject, the Polynesian tattoos represent the qualities of these people, these brave, simple, trustworthy and lovable people.

If you feel that you’re an geographically misplaced Polynesian, then these tattoos are for you.

24 Polynesian Tattoo Designs

This is a half sleeve tattoo. This one is one of my most favorite designs in this list.

Polynesian tattoo designs at their best

This is a tattoo for the chest. There are loads of chest tattoos in the Polynesian tattoos.

Tattoo symbols of Polynesia

The black symbol depicts strength.

The black symbol

This is a Polynesian shoulder tattoo. I don’t why but I’m really thinking of getting this one (if I do, it’ll be my first).

Polynesian shoulder tattoo

Now let’s have a look at some Samoan tattoos.

Samoa cultural tattoo

This is a Samoan tattoo for men.

Samoan Tattoo

This is another Samoan tattoo. By the way, Samoa is a beautiful country. I just checked saw some pictures of their beaches while searching for these tattoo designs… awesome!


This is a leg tattoo but I think it will look pretty cool on the back as well. What do you think?

Polynesian chest tattoo

Here comes another one of my favorites. This is another one of half sleeve Polynesian tattoo designs… there are loads of these in this list.

Polynesian tattoo pattern

I’m placing all of the sleeve tattoos here. If you are not looking for them, you can jump next 5 pictures.

Polynesian sleeve tattoo

This is a Maori themed tattoo. Such tattoos are common New Zealand.

Maori sleeve tattoo

This is a Polynesian tribal design but I’m sensing some Celtic touch as well.

Tribal with celtic elements

This is another sleeve tattoo in pure tribal theme.

Tribal sleeve tattoo

Now let’s check out some other kind of tattoos as well. Here’s a stingray! Stingrays are pretty common in Polynesia.

Stingray tattoo

This is another tattoo that can be placed anywhere on the body.

Samoan and Polynesian tattoo designs

This is a chest, shoulder and sleeve tattoo. The one like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got (he’s featured below).

Shoulder and chest tattoo

This is a full tribal styled Polynesian tattoo.

Polynesian Tribal Design

Full body Samoan female tattoo.

Full body Polynesian tattoo designs

Polynesian Tattoos Looking Awesome

Above we have observed Polynesian tattoo designs. Now it’s time to see them in action. Let’s begin with one of the most popular Polynesian tattoos. This tattoo is the most popular because a very popular person got it. Yes, I’m talking about the people’s champ! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Polynesian tattoo of Dwayne The Rock Johnson

Same tattoo, other side of the body.

Full arm and chest

Chest and arm are the most popular Polynesian tattoo designs, especially among males. So you’ll get lots of ideas for an arm or chest tattoo here.

Polynesian chest tattoo for men

This is a full arm Polynesian tattoo idea.

Strong arm

I don’t if it’s the tattoo design the photograph, but man I love this tattoo.

Arm and chest

This is a Hawaiian shoulder and arm tattoo.

Hawaiian shoulder and arm tattoo

This is another half sleeve tattoo idea.

Polynesian sleeve tattoo idea

Now let’s check out a few shoulder tattoos. I love these ones because they are pretty easy to hide, but also pretty easy to show. You can hide them in job interviews etc. but you can reveal them on outings.


This tribal tattoo contains lots of symbols of strength.

Strong shoulder 2

Even though this tattoo finishes before the elbow, I feel it should be called a half-sleeve tattoo.

Another half sleeve tattoo

Alright, now we’ve checked out tattoos for arms and chest, how about a couple of ideas for your neck? Let’s check out a couple neck tattoos. They can be considered chest tattoos as well.

Polynesian neck tattoo

If the above one is too much for you, then how about this one?

Polynesian chest tattoo triangular

I really like this kind of tattoos. They don’t shout “Hey! Look at me, I got a tattoo” but they are visible enough and carry a meaning. You get this tattoo anywhere, on the chest, on the back, anywhere.

Polynesian heart tattoo

I just said you could get that tattoo on the back… I should feature some back tattoos, shouldn’t I.


If the above one isn’t enough for you, then how about this majestic full back Polynesian tribal tattoo?

Full back Polynesian tattoo

This one is my favorite back tattoo in this list.

Master back

And now, something simpler.

Half back tattoo

And this one uses shades of red ink as well.

Polynesian tribal tattoo for a man's back

Polynesian tattoos for women

I did feature some Polynesian tattoo designs for women in the first part of this post, but I think I forgot to add pictures of Polynesian tattoos for females. So here are a couple.

A girls Polynesian tattoo

Most of the Polynesian tattoos for females are for stomach area. I’m not sure why.

Polynesian side tattoo

Do I find a butterfly in this tattoo?

Polynesian tattoos for women

And I’ll end this post with my favorite female-friendly Polynesian tattoo in this list.

Polynesian tattoo for female arms