Polynesian tattoo symbols for peace

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Polynesian palm tree tattoo

Among the symbols used to represent peace and harmony, the most common are:

While some societies seemed to prosper thanks to war, actively seeking to expand their influence gaining new territories and resources, this conception stemmed from a false belief of superiority, and never actually brought but sorrow and poverty to all parts in the long run.

Warfare eats up resources and lives, and does not have positive returns but for a very few, while peace and stability allow everyone with a chance to thrive and should be sought for over anything else.

Polynesian people were often at war, but they also knew the importance of peace and balance, and held peaceful relationships and trades most of the time, which allowed them to explore and inhabit the whole Pacific.

While the fighting component in human nature can be useful for achieving great things if used constructively, this is truest when it is applied in times of peace.
When creativity and tenacity are put to work in a peaceful, cooperative environment, we as humans are able of the greatest achievements.

In Polynesian traditions, symbols that represent peace are often related to prosperity as well, as the two often go hand in hand.

Palm leaves

Maori coconut leaf symbol

Palm trees are symbolic of the Pacific islands and they represent peace, good vibrations, serenity.
Coconut palms bring many gifts like fibers to weave ropes or clothes, to strengthen roofs, they give fruit, wood, utensils.

There are several symbols that represent coconut palms, leaves, and flowers, and they are related to prosperity, origins and descent:

Coconut palm symbols


Kava leaves design

Kava was a sacred plant, often used in religious ceremonies due to its lightly intoxicating properties that favored a state of peace and openness.
It also symbolizes blessing, healing.

Marquesan cross

Marquesan cross symbol

Its original name peka 'enana can be translated as "cross of the people", or also posterity. It's a symbol for peace, balance, and harmony.

Marquesan cross symbol variants


Hawaiian balance symbol lokahi

Lōkahi is a Hawaiian symbol that represents harmony between nature and the worlds of people and spirits.
You can read more about it in this article.


Light and darkness symbol

Kuhanu is another Hawaiian symbol based on the dichotomy of light and darkness, and it represents creation, light coming out of the darkness, symbolizing their balance as a foundation of life.

It's visually identical to the bonito tail motif, which is a symbol of prosperity, so we see that the two meanings are always somehow related.


Polynesian sun tattoo design

The sun has been recognized by all cultures as a life bringer, and is therefore considered a symbol of joy, peace, and serenity.


The Marquesan cross within this hammerhead shark is used to symbolize harmony reached with tenacity:

Polynesian shoulder tattoo

Palm trees used to symbolize prosperity and serenity:

Polynesian feminine full sleeve tattoo

You can read the description of each tattoo by clicking on its photo.

Books about Polynesian Tattoos

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