I did this female Polynesian piece yesterday. It is comprised of traditional and modern Marquesan, with Maori overtones. Had a lot of fun with it and look forward to working more with this client.
When composing Poly tattoos for female clients, I like to work with the flow of the body and believe that the overall piece should not overpower the femininity inherent in the female body. I also believe that less is more in this case and prefer a light and airy coverage that is extensive instead of packing a ton of motifs into a small space. I like to long, flowing paka that aren’t necessarily touching or attached, such as in male tattoo.
This piece was meant as a decorative with familial and protective elements.
Anyway, here is the breakdown. Peace!
a) tai: the sea, this speaks for her love of the ocean
b) lau niu: coconut fronds, this represents someone of high regard
c) maka: eye(s), placed on various parts of a tattoo the eyes are meant to warn of danger as well as give a human element to the tattoo itself
d) poka’a: opening/uterus, this symbolizes her role as a mother and giver of life and when used in mirror image conveys balance
e) hope vehine: twin goddesses of tattoo, this motif represents beauty, life, creation and protection
f) piko: belly button, representing her two children
g) this client had high regard for the number four, so inset along various parts of the tattoo are four niho (teeth)
h) koru: unfurling fern head, this Maori symbol is used here to represent new beginnings
i) hena/i’ima: hand, this motif acts to attach the tattoo to the body
j) u’uhe: piece of turtle shell, this motif is a feminine protective motif
k) ani ata: sky and heavens, this motif represents her deceased relatives
l) pa’aoa: whale, this motif represents trust, protection and unwavering friendship
m) tai: the sea
n) kaka’a: lizard, this represents tenacity but also her love of lizards!
o) maka: eye
p) hena/i’ima: hand
q) koru: the overall shape of the upper piece is that of a koru