Hawaiian tattoos are most often one of two different styles: tribal or floral art. Both of these styles depict the state’s most famous historical attributes – its native people and the climate that encourages the growth of some truly beautiful and delicate flowers.
In Hawaii, tattoos have long been used as a symbol of tribal affiliation, strength, and warrior status. Each shape has a particular meaning according to the ancient traditions of Hawaiian people. The traditional manner of applying a tattoo is via a long stick with a flat, sharpened edge. The pain from getting a tattoo with this method has been described as ‘exquisite’. Luckily, the modern technique of applying body art is far less painful and allows for a greater amount of detail in the design.
Photo by “DorkStar” on Flickr
Men tend to lean more toward the tribal type of tattoo while women are most likely to use a Hawaiian flower in their body art design; however the combination of both styles is also quite striking. For men, a Hawaiian tribal tattoo is often used as a sign of their strength and power. For women, the delicate Hawaiian blossoms signify femininity and beauty.
Photo by “Mez Love” on Flickr
The biceps, legs, and arms are the most common locations of Hawaiian tribal symbols in black ink. Many women opt for the back, hip, or breast area when placing their floral body art of varying, vibrant hues.
Photo by “Duncan Creamer” on Flickr
Even if your heritage is not associated with the Hawaiian Islands, a Hawaiian tattoo can represent an affinity with the significance of its symbols or simply be a reminder of a great vacation.