Polynesian symbolism, tattoos from the southsea and native marquesian culture

 polynesian tattoo, tattoo designs, meanings and their origin



Schema  |  Handcraft  |  Religion  |  Nature 




Some ornaments the Marquesians use have naturalistiv character. Animals, Plants and other things, the Marquesians had got in their environment were tattooed. The most common illustrations of animals are ray (vau), shark (peata), tortoise (kea) and lizard (moko).

These ornaments could be found on all bodyparts. Variations of these naturalistic patterns can also be found in illustrations of etua (discussed earlier). On example is the pattern called kea. If you build a doublekea out of two manikins you have a motive that doesn’t symbolize a manikin anymore but a tortoise.


Plants were also used as tattoomotives. Sometimes they are used only for the names like opea, what means flame of the burning nut or in true illustrations like a picture of the kohubush. Furthermore this kohubush was a narcotic, which was used by the medicine man, because their roots contain a lot of active ingredients.








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Polynesian tatou, lots of examples and explanations