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Koa wahine sleeve tattoo photo
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Koa wahine sleeve
Warrior woman

June 4th, 2024
  Author: GiErre

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Two versions of this Polynesian tattoo were created for Tyler, this forearm sleeve and a band, and it's a good example of how the same story can be represented in different ways.

This is the extended version covering the whole forearm, and the additional space allows for more details and elements compared to the simpler version, but the underlying meanings remain the same.

It represents two balancing aspects of her life: being a woman and a soldier.

The tiki on top represents god, with a te ha symbol (the breath of life) to show him as the giver of life.
Birds are symbolic of voyage and communication with the gods, and the row descending from the god symbolizes here his teachings (the star represents the fixed point, importance).

Kumu at the bottom symbolizes foundation, the lokahi represents unity with spirits and nature, and the niho mano are symbolic of the ocean and of the Hawaiian islands.

On the right side, she is represented as the warrior within the hammerhead shark (a symbol of tenacity and determination, with spearheads), who brings protection and prosperity (fish and braid) to herself and to the community (the braid and the people in front of the manta, matching around the arm, led by the warrior) facing every challenge along the way (the path of Kamehameha) with courage and strength (the spearheads).

On the other side the warrior is balanced by the woman, who embraces her femininity (the flower of hibiscus with frangipani) and finds a different, more relaxed perspective in her family life and marriage.

The all-seeing eye next to the warrior within the hammerhead shark is a symbol of protection that helps keeping enemies at bay.

You can see here the band version

The colored image below shows the main elements within the tattoo:
Polynesian forearm band woman warrior

Manaia Maori tattoo t-shirtManaia Maori tattoo t-shirtPolynesian design by TattooTribes
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band tiki hammrehead shark manta kumu shark teeth lokahi all-seeing eye braid people hibiscus flower couple birds path to knowledge god teaching warrior feminine protection tenacity determination service tyler

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