Visual Pepeha

Understanding who you are and where you come from is very important.

Your child has been using designs from their own culture to tell their story, their pepeha. Many times our students drawing without thinking, they see that it is a great design with no meaning. Here are some samples that will help you understand what some symbols mean.

Polynesian Tattoo Symbols & Meanings – Tiki

Tiki Vector

Before talking about “tiki” symbols of Polynesian tattoo, please have a look at the tiki vector above. You must have seen these patterns everywhere, in paintings, designs, games, cards, etc. Yes, they are all tiki things.

Sample showing the Polynesian symbol of tiki and its organs and variations.

Tiki is human-like figure that represents Polynesian semi-gods, which means deified ancestors and heads, who are sublimed after their death. According to its guardian role, they mainly symbolize protection. If you love playing pc games, you’ll find that in many lost temples, Tiki patterns are often carved on pillars or stone gate.

Tiki plays a very important role in Polynesian culture. Tiki’s organs are often separately drawn to represent different meanings. For example, nose symbols mean sniffing danger before its coming. Tiki’s eyes, nose, mouth and side faces are all important design elements and most Polynesian tattoo designs contain one or more tiki symbols.

Below we’ll list some samples that contain tiki symbols.

Photo of Polynesian arm tattoo that contains two tiki side faces.

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Its important to know what you choose so that you can tell your story properly and accurately in your own words.