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Are Polynesian Tattoos for everyone?


The Polynesian Tattoo Handbooks

362 total pages

featuring lists of symbols and their meanings, a quick reference dictionary, explained examples, and so much more!

750+ images

Symbols are listed with their variants, and real tattoos are deconstructed and explained down to their foundational elements.

600+ symbols

Vol. 1 lists the most common symbols and Vol. 2 further explains Samoan, Marquesan, Tahitian, Hawaiian and Maori tattoos.


Two books, one mission

to share with you everything we learnt in over 20 years.


Each tattoo is made up of several smaller elements, comparable to building blocks, which are selected by the tattoo master based on their meaning and then assembled together in a coded order to create the final piece.

Just as sentences convey meaning if their words are chosen and joined properly, so do Polynesian tattoos if they are properly designed.

To give you an example, ideograms make appealing tattoos, but if you don't know them you may be up for a surprise after getting one, since they can acquire different meanings depending on how they are grouped and in which order. You probably heard plenty of stories where "7 rings" became "little Japanese barbecue" and so on--
Polynesian tattoos are not so risky since they can't be "read" like ideograms, but the concept is similar and before getting a Polynesian tattoo you should research all the information you can find to make sure that your tattoo is telling your story.

The problem is: accurate information is very hard to find. It could take years to collect all the symbols and their meanings.
Luckily, we did it for you: 4 years spent to craft "The POLYNESIAN TATTOO Handbook" + 8 more for Vol.2, but it was worth it: countless hours talking to locals, watching interviews and reading dusty books and out-of-print magazines allowed us to compose the puzzle and publish two books like no others.

The books are unique in several ways:
  • they are the only books that list the symbols and explain their meanings for the 5 main Polynesian styles of tattoo: Samoan, Marquesan, Tahitian, Hawaiian and Maori
  • they feature a quick dictionary associating the best symbols for the desired meanings
  • they include info about the creation process and placement, and several examples of real life tattoos analyzed and deconstructed to their basic elements to help understand them and how to create them
plus several other features like info about their origins and purpose, styles specific features, and how to include letters and names.

Each person is unique, right?

So why should you get a tattoo that was copied from someone else?
Remember: true Polynesian tattoos tell stories and you too could prepare your own personal tattoo, as unique as your story.

And if you get a Polynesian tattoo, wouldn't you like to know if it really tells your story, if the elements are correct?
Wouldn't you like to understand the symbols and see them "come to life" under your eyes?

We can help you do just that! Our books will guide you by the hand explaining the symbols, the placements on the body and which elements, motifs or patterns can be used to represent the desired meanings.
We kept both books simple, clear and straightforward to give you the best reading experience possible, because we believe that a good book should not just be a mere collection of symbols but also enjoyable and easy to read, don't you agree?
To achieve this, Vol.1 is a comprehensive introduction to Polynesian tattoos and how to create them, and Vol.2 starts from there and adds many more symbols and examples to go the extra mile.


Awesome books deserve awesome readers-- and we have the best of both!
Check here what they say about our handbooks:

Best Polynesian book!

I live in Hawaii, purchased many Polynesian design books in the past but, this one is the best so far. Very extensive in defining Polynesian symbols & placement. Love it!

I found it informative and loved the pictures

Since I already have a Polynesian style tattoo I wanted to keep the same tradition but include elements that are important to me, not just how it looks. From this book I was able to learn what certain symbols mean and be able to use them in my design for the tattoo I will get with my daughter.

Tatt reference

This book is 4 star. This is a great reference book for those doing tatts from the Islands [...]

Exactly what I was looking for

This book is really great for someone wanting to create their own tattoo. I'm currently designing my own tradtional hawaiian tattoo and this is helping me so much. It give you details of polynesian tattoos, such as meaning of placement on the body, as well as the different "symbols". Teaches you how to create/breakdown a tattoo. How to incorprate what you want into the tattoo (i.e. like if you want to represent family, what symbol to use). I would definatly reccomend this book.
Fantastically Rich

This is such a well thought out and reverent book, well deserved of the sacred art form and important root of our Polynesian culture. I feel blessed to have found it, I learned so much!!
Awesome book with perfect instructions

Tells me exactly what I needed to know on how to design these crazy pieces. Step by step on how to do it.

Table of Contents:


Vol. 1
Practical guide to creating meaningful Polynesian tattoos:

I. Foreword
II. Placement on the body
III. Symbols and meanings
IV. Quick reference dictionary
V. Creation process and case studies
VI. Basic designs
Appendix: Maorigrams creation
Bibliographic references


Vol. 2
An in-depth study of Polynesian tattoos and of their foundational symbols:

I. Preface
II. A people of navigators
III. Samoan tattoos
IV. Marquesan tattoos
V. Tahitian tattoos
VI. Hawaiian tattoos
VII Maori tattoos
VIII Fusion
Bibliographic references

Buy them together NOW
and get 50% OFF the second

Use code 2INHALF at checkout and you'll get $ 4.84 OFF!


Still have doubts? We've been asked many questions over the years, so here's a quick list of the most frequent ones with our answers:


    Yes, and no. 
    Polynesian tattoos (and Maori among them) use two kind of symbols and motifs: some of them are tapu, which means "sacred", while others are noa, or "common, not sacred". 
    Tapu elements should be used only by people who are entitled to them by family and descent, while all the others should only use noa elements for their tattoos.
    All of the elements presented in our books are noa, which means that you can use them all without fear of including symbols that you are not allowed to wear. 


    No, and yes. 
    Plain copying someone else's tattoo is always desrespectful, because you are stealing their own story. This values for Polynesian tattoos as well as for any other. 
    Creating a Polynesian tattoo that tells your story shows that you aknowledge and respect the importance of such tattoo and therefore is not seen as desrespectful. It shows your appreciation and admiration for Polynesian art and culture. 
    Remember: a Polynesian tattoo is never just a nice design! 

    Yes, just remember that it is not traditional: Polynesian people had no alphabet as we know it prior to contact with European navigators. All knowledge was passed on orally or through the symbolism of Polynesian designs. 
    So, how can you get a name into a Polynesian tattoo without it looking out of place? 
    We developed a way to recreate an alphabet that blends nicely into Polynesian designs and we called it MAORIGRAMS as it is based on two Maori symbols to create all the letters. Scroll down to find it in our FREE chapter!


    If you want to know Polynesian tattoos, they are perfect for you.
    They've been crafted professionally to be easy to read and to cover every aspect of this Art, from their symbols and meanings to their creation process and placement and so on.
    You can also check a preview of what's inside by clicking on the cover images below:
Roberto Gemori

About the author

Roberto Gemori has studied Polynesian art and symbolism for twenty years. His designs are published on and appear in specialized magazines. When not designing, he writes books on Polynesian tattoos to foster understanding and appreciation of this ancient and fascinating form of art.

Thinking of your tattoo?

These books will teach you all that you need to understand the symbolism of Polynesian tattoos: elements, meanings, placement, with clear examples and tattoo designs deconstructed into their basic elements and explained.
You're gonna learn the WHAT, WHY and HOW of Polynesian tattoos.



Maorigrams creation (vol.1)

Maorigrams chapter

Learn how we solved the problem of including letters and names within a Polynesian tattoo.
Grab your free chapter here!
and keep updated on new symbols as soon as we publish them.

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