ANATOMY OF A TATTOO: THE POLYNESIAN
Created in 2019, the tattoo ‘Polynesian’ quickly became one of the most chosen tattoos by our customers. Much more than a simple tattoo, the Polynesian is first and foremost a tale, an invitation to seafaring voyages and their mythic stories. Each symbol inscribed on this Deejo blade hides a multitude of meanings, spiritual and authentic. With us, you too can discover the legends of Polynesia:
The Maori ‘Enata’ tattoo holds many meanings, terrestrial and celestial, mainly symbolizing the important stages of life in society, such as marriage, friendship and kinship. Associated with a round shape and form, the Enata (symbol for 'people') faces the sky and the gods, representing the link that unites humankind and family to the divine world.
Common to the Pacific ocean, the turtle is revered in many Polynesian cultures, as a symbol of union and peace. Indeed, the turtle unites land and sea, as it travels easily from earth to water, and embodies the sacred role of messenger between the world of the living and the world beyond, of the afterlife often represented by the ocean. In addition to its connection with the underworld, the turtle is known for its spectacular breeding season on the island's beaches, where a female turtle can lay up to 100 eggs per year. The turtle is therefore a symbol throughout life, from birth to reproduction, to death. The shell, its characteristic trait, is a symbol of protection and resilience. Imposing and rich in colour, it is also commonly used in Polynesian artisan work.
Shark teeth, called ‘niho mano’ in several Polynesian languages, can be recognized by their triangular shape. Master of the seas and fish-god, the shark is emblematic of Polynesian mythology, where its ferocity demands respect for its species. Its perseverance as a hunter makes its teeth a symbol of tenacity as well as protection.
Today mostly chosen to express one’s identity, the tattoo was once used to signify membership in a tribe or the accomplishment of a feat or prowess. Spearheads, symbols of combat, are therefore found in many tattoos, which embody courage as well as ferocity.
Source of sustenance and legend, the ocean is a major representation in Polynesian tattooing. A symbol of fertility and wealth, the resources it offers Polynesians are innumerable, a generosity that was closely associated with the divine world. For many Polynesian cultures, this sacred place represents the afterlife, the great beyond where the deceased would rest in the company of the gods. Associated with rich abundance, the ocean remains a unique symbol, in the proximity of both gods and ancestors, a reminder of our future resting place.