15.05.2015
Hawaiian tattoos and body art have a history of thousands of years and experienced a renewed popularity since the 90s, together with other tribal tattoo styles. There's more to Hawaii than flowers and leis, after all, the Hawaiian islands are part of a larger chain (the Polynesian Islands) which include other island cultures such as the Maori and the Samoan, tribal communities with a rich tattoo tradition. Personal identification: unlike other Polynesian tattoo styles, Hawaiian tattoos are used for personal identification (instead of ceremonial purposes).
Hawaiian tribal tattoos feature geometric patterns and a variety of interlocking lines and shapes.
Getting a tattoo in a tribal community was not a very pleasant occasion, modern tattoo equipment was not part of tribal life.
The Hawaiian tattoo designs are larger compared to other Polynesian designs, and bolder as well. In the beginning of the 19th century, when European settlers arrived in Hawaii, the art of the Hawaiian tattoo slowly vanished until its renaissance in the 20th century.
The most popular Hawaiian flower tattoo design is without any doubt the Hibiscus (the yellow variant of the Hibiscus flower is the state flower of Hawaii). Another popular Hawaiian tattoo design is the orchid tattoo, especially ghost orchid designs.
Michael Malone, tattoo artist and one of the students of Sailor Jerry (see further), created the Hawaiian armband tattoo in the 70s.


Keone Nunes: being a traditional tattoo artist, he uses traditional tattoo equipment like tattoo ink made from kukui nuts and a fine-tooth comb made from the tusk of a hippo. The Anthurium– Among the top flower exports of Hawaii, the anthurium takes on a heart shape with vivid red hues.
The Hibiscus— This flower has several varieties, among which is the yellow-colored ma’o hau hele hibiscus. It’s a delightful fact that these tattoos not only have an unmistakable beauty, they also carry deep meanings. They often include a unique blend of tribal designs and culturally significant images like pictures of spirit animals, tropical flowers, or Hawaiian Tiki gods. Modern tribal tattoos are based on the traditional tattoo art of the Polynesian islands, and Hawaiian tattoos represent both the popular culture of Hawaii and the older tribal traditions. Hawaiian arm tattoos are often a nod to the traditional Hawaiian tattoo style, though with a decidedly modern appearance. Although he based his designs on the traditional Hawaiian tattoo motifs, the armband itself is not traditional.
This makes a fitting Hawaiian flower tattoos because of its vibrant colors, including pink, white, red, yellow, lavender, and green. Ancient Hawaiians used ash and soot to make the inks that decorated their entire bodies with the permanent artwork.


Traditional tattoos were done only in black ink, but with the incorporation of modern techniques and styles, Hawaiian tattoos nowadays are found in vivid colors and can be personalized to include symbols important to the person getting the tattoo. The armband tattoo became popular amongst Hawaiian youth that wanted to express its heritage.
If you’ve always wanted to print a floral design on your skin, you can never go wrong with Hawaiian blooms because they not only exude beauty, they also carry rich meanings and symbolisms. Hawaiian women often tuck this blossom behind their ears to mark their search for a marriage partner.
Popular images include flower blossoms, nature landscapes, animal designs, and religious icons.
If you want a Hawaiian flower tattoo that reflects your Big Island roots, then go for the red lehua.



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