h1, h2, h3, h4, blockquote {font-family: 'Open Sans Condensed', sans-serif;} The Dictionary of Polynesian Tattoo Symbols | The Best Polynesian Tattoos in the World

The Dictionary of Polynesian Tattoo Symbols


Understanding the meanings of tattoo patterns

The dictionary allows you to:

  • understand how you can represent aspects of your life on your future tattoo
  • know what the designs/patterns you like mean.
  • translate a feeling into designs/patterns…
  • talk with the artist about your choice for the creation of your custom-made tattoo.

For all that, don’t forget to make room for the outside look and feeling of a good tattooist specialized in Polynesian style!

As a subscriber, you also have access to other practical pages:


The symbolism of the body

  • Understanding Polynesian cosmogony
  • What is the symbolism of the body ? To choose the right place for your tattoo.
  • How to become more creative and inspired? To create your « talisman-tattoo.
  • A Polynesian style alphabet

Creativity, or the capacity to create what you desire in your life, everyone has it to various degrees: 7 steps to follow, to develop your creativity and manifest what you desire in your life, are explained.

  • Also: getting to know the Maori universe, how to differentiate the styles of all Oceania, view dozens of drawings and pictures organised by designs/patterns
  • Hundreds of exclusive tattoo pictures of international Tatau conventions in Samoa, New Zealand, Tahiti...

Hundreds of exclusive tattoo pictures

Sources and bibliography

Our dictionary is based on the deep cultural roots made up of traditions, mythologies, legends, proverbs, as well as linguistics and intuition (mana).

It takes into account all the Pacific Islands:

Hawaii (kakau), New Zeland (ta moko), Tahiti (tatau maohi), the Marquesan Islands (te patu tiki), Samoa (pe’a) , Tonga, Rapa Nui, etc.


Different tattoo styles of the Pacific islands

The Tahiti Tatou dictionary features a bibliography with the main quoted authors.

Your subscription

3 options are available:


    1 month of access to the dictionary. Price : 14,95 €. Sign-up


    6 months of access to the dictionary. Bonus: "How do you say my name in Polynesian? 4.000 first names from around the world translated into Hawaiian, Maori, Tahitian." Ebook in pdf format. Price : 29,95 €. Sign-up

    PROFESSIONAL (reserved for Polynesian style tattooists)

    It includes:

  • 12 months of access to the dictionary
  • Your studio listed on the tahititatou.com with a link to your web page.
  • Your web page with photo gallery hosted on tahititatou.com
  • Bonus: "How do you say my name in Polynesian? 4.000 first names from around the world translated into Hawaiian, Maori, Tahitian." Ebook in pdf format. 

    Price : 79.95 €. Sign-up


Understand the meanings of symbols through to proverbs and legends.


Roni : Thank you. I really appreciate everything I learned from your research and without Tahiti Tatou I would not have my tattoo. Again, thank you, Philippe, for everything and keep up the good work.

Laura (tattoo artist): Quite impressive! That's a good resource, especially for people who are not very familiar with Polynesian style tattoos. It looks like you did a lot of in-depth research. I am flattered to see that you used some of my tattoo photos as examples. When you get a chance, can you please also add me to you tattoo artist directory? I would greatly appreciate it. Mahalo.

Jared : The dictionary has been really informative to me. There is a lot of info in there I have not been able to find anywhere else on the net. Thanks again.

François : My wife and I are going to take a honeymoon trip to Polynesia. I would like to take the opportunity and get a tattoo… Thanks again and well done on your site which gives useful info on Polynesian tattoo.

Aaron : I just joined your site and the online dictionary.  Your site is great!
I was born in the States, but my mom was born and raised in West Oahu. I want to come up with a great design for that side of my family. Thanks.

Dominic : I appreciate the quick response, as well as your generosity. Great website.

Max : I took me a while before I decided to susbcribe, but finding no answers to my questions, I made up my mind and joined you. Thanks to your site I found the designs/patterns that fit me.

Jeremy : I just wanted to say thank you for your website. I had my poly (Hawaiian style) tattoo done last night. Your website was of great help. It is by far the most informative site out there. I am already passing your website on to another person who wants to get a poly tattoo as well. Mahalo nui.

Richard : Great website, really enjoying my subscription's access. Thanks again.

Mike : I've just subscribed to Tahiti Tatou for a period and have found reading about the Polynesian symbols fascinating.

Craig : This site is awesome!!! I've been trying to design a cover up for years. I think I finally have what I need. I read your section on how to develop your creativity and the ideas just started flowing. Looking at it in this light with the right tools was my missing link. Thank you and well done! 

Ashiv : I just wanted to say your site is amazing with helping me with my tattoos.

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