If a poll was conducted among men on which tattoo they would like to get, a good percentage would choose a Polynesian tattoo even if they didn’t know what exactly it meant. That is what we are going to do today. We will list out some of the great aspects about these tattoos and also their significance and that will only make these tattoos a lot more appealing.


Origin of Polynesian Tattoos

The region known as Polynesia covers over a 1000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. These islands are home to some of the most unique and culturally rich tribes on earth and the include Marquesans, Samoans, Niueans, Tongans, Cook Islanders, Hawaiians, Tahitians, and Maori.

These tribes have one thing in common and that is their tattoos. For them, tattoos were not simply ornamental. Each line and curve that made up a tattoo had a very profound meaning behind it and every tattoo told a story in a very artistic manner.

Why Polynesian Tattoos for Men are so Popular

The obvious reason is that they are aesthetically pleasing. While glancing through tattoo designs, men generally end up choosing one of these tattoos even if they do not know the cultural significance or meaning behind it. The tattoos are all about the balance and harmony in nature and the fight between the light and the dark and that is something that is present in everyone and to have a tattoo that signifies the same seems special.

Another big reason is that many well-known and macho men sport these tattoos. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Momoa are just a couple that comes to mind, So the mentality is simple. If these very masculine men are sporting these tattoos, there is the tag of masculinity attached to it and that is also a major driving force behind getting these tattoos.

The Meanings Behind Polynesian Tattoos

Coming to their meanings and symbolisms, the Polynesians all have this general view that there is an eternal harmony in nature, a nature that man is also part of. Their tattoos depict this balance, this bond that is shared between all living things and the elements such as the earth and the sea.

A big influence in these cultures is the ocean as geographically these people live on islands and the ocean is a major part of their lives. The ebbing and flowing nature of the ocean, its immense energy and the constant fluctuations between calmness and restlessness are all inspirations behind these tattoos.

They use a combination of intricate patterns, a symmetrical layout and a continuous flowing style that makes them aesthetically pleasing while also enhancing and beautifying the male form. Many of these tattoos tell stories about the various legends and mythology that exist in these cultures and a good reference for this is the movie Moana.


Do Polynesian tattoos for men deserve all this popularity and attention? They certainly do. While being great to look at and making a man look bigger and muscular, they serve a higher purpose and that is the cultural impact it has. It is these tattoos that have put the tiny islands of Polynesia on the map and through these tattoos, their wonderful culture, art, and legend live on.

Check Out These Impressive Examples of Polynesian Tattoos for Men


Placed on the upper arm and shoulder for strength and bravery, this design has a stylized turtle at the heart. Surrounded by the wide ocean, concentric wave patterns sit above the central image. Below him are the sharks teeth and spears that protect him.


On the lower arm for the creative people, layers of waves and sharks teeth interweave and overlap to form the complex patterns which are so much a part of Polynesian designs. Tapered to the wrist, this pattern reinforces the impression of strength in your arm.


Emphasize your inner strength and bravery with this design linking your upper body and upper arm. The wide open sun on your shoulder is surrounded by shields and waves, linking earth and sky to bring you the power of both. Classic tattoo ideas for men.


This design for your upper arm and upper body is all about the people. The family that makes us all underpins the designs and gives it you strength to face the oceans and all the challenges they bring. Notice how the chest and arm circle are connected via your own power center.


This example shows some of the Polynesian tattoo designs for guys which are used to show off the strength and power in your legs. We use a mixture of totem poles, warriors, masks and sharks teeth to present your unique profile.


Placed on your upper arm, this sleeve is a concentric spiral of energy. Spearheads and warriors protect and surround your strength showing you are ready to engage when the need arises. It is a gentle, subtle reminder of your roots. Don’t let them be forgotten.


Highlighting the power of your lower leg, this line of spear symbols follows the power-line of your calf muscle with a strong straight heart, surrounded and supported by the natural flow of curving arcs. All pulled together in to a shield of protection.


Stress the power of your upper arm, with dynamic lines of shark teeth illustrating the strength and ferocity of your will. The placement along your arm shows how well your muscles are suited to adapting to combat any foe. One of the best Polynesian tattoos for men.


More tattoos ideas on the next page…