Meaning and History of Hawaiian Tattoo

The Hawaiian tattoo has a certain meaning or significance behind it, people just don’t get them in order to follow fashion. They symbolize so many statement as a ritual. Such as most tattoos symbolize mourning for a loved one, if you have remembrance of a love one that has been lost the this tattoo is for you.

Some tattoos of Hawaiian symbolize talisman for protection and some are symbol of personal identifications. Till now some people get them in order to identify themselves as a part community or group.

As far as history is concerned though Hawaiian tattoo designs and body arts have a long history of more than a thousand years. But after 1990’s when celebrities started bearing them, we saw some kind of madness amongst people about them. In the ancient times tattoos were also used to differentiate between the classes. The more standing you had in your village, the more tattooing you would wear.

Like many other Polynesian-descended cultures, the native Hawaiians practiced tattooing. The most heavily tattooed members of the tribe would be the royal family, followed by other court officials and persons who were in the royal family by marriage.

The designs were monochromatic, tattooed in black against brown skin. The patterns and layout were strongly geometric and there were many shapes and symbols which represented the natural island world: stones, waves, fish, sharks, turtles, rain, sun, birds.

Tattoos were traditionally created by using a tool much like a sharpened rake to prick the designs. The tattoo tool would be hit by another stick to make the punctures. Assistants helped by stretching the skin for the tattoo artist and by wiping away the blood.

Religious Significance:

Some types of Hawaiian tattoos convey a certain religious significance for the bearer. The Hawaiian culture was, and to some extent still is, polytheistic, meaning they worshiped multiple Gods. Many Hawaiians would choose a personal God in much the same way Christian practitioners might choose a patron saint. A symbolic image of this God would then be tattooed onto the worshiper as a sign of devotion. In fact, there’s a myth that it was actually the sons of the Gods who taught the art of tattoo to mankind.

Such tattoos were never created without proper homage to ritual, and so were usually included as part of a religious ceremony where the God in question would be asked for his or her blessing. This was thought to instill the tattoo with a sort of magical power to act as an amulet against evil and other dangers. It’s interesting to note that a belief in these religious rituals/practices still survives to this day.

Tribal Hawaiian Tattoo Designs:

Black ink, broad strokes and mysterious designs, are what define a tribal tattoo! Generally, tribal tattoos are not incorporated in any other tattoo design as they have their own form and beauty which does not suit any other design. But there is one exception to this, which is the Hawaiian tribal tattoo design. Tribal Hawaiian tattoos have a unique blend of the beautiful Hawaiian images and the classic tribal form. Though any design can be depicted, the ones which are quite famous are lizards and sea turtles.

Sea turtles are regarded as a symbol of fertility while tribal lizard is a symbol of fear and respect. One can fill colors in a Hawaiian tribal tattoo, however black color looks best. Talking about the locations, there are no specific locations where this tattoo needs to be done. However, any tribal tattoo is extensive, so it is better to choose a location where the entire tattoo can fit, like the back or the hand. This is one of the ancient Hawaiian tattoo designs.

Hawaiian Flower Tattoo Designs:

Hawaiian flower tattoos are the first choice of people opting for flower tattoos! Not only do the Hawaiian flowers have unique colors, they also have a unique meaning, so before getting a Hawaiian flower, find out the meaning of the flower and get one which suits your personality. Some of the commonly done Hawaiian flower tattoos are hibiscus, orchids, birds of paradise etc. Amongst orchids, ghost orchid is a rare flower and so it is regarded as a symbol of rare beauty. Surprisingly, this is one of the popular Hawaiian tattoo designs for men!

Hibiscus blooms for a very short period of time, that is why it is regarded as a symbol of life, delicate beauty which has the capacity to seize the opportunity at hand! The bird of paradise flower is obviously regarded as a symbol of heavenly beauty. Red, pink, yellow and blue are some of the most common colors used to depict these flowers. Hawaiian flower tattoo designs are generally done on a flat surface like on the back, or behind the leg etc. Getting a Hawaiian tattoo on the belly is one of the latest trends.

Hawaiian Band Tattoos:

Hawaiian band tattoos are one of the modern tattoo designs. As the name suggests, these tattoos are either done on the bicep or on the wrist. Hawaiian band tattoos are a perfect blend of the traditional Hawaiian designs like the tribal or Celtic tattoos and a modern feature like vines and flowers. This is one of the best Hawaiian tattoo designs for women, who do not like big tattoo designs.