125 Samoan Tattoos Rich in History and Culture

Historical tattoos have a unique touch and sense to them and are perfect for a tattoo lover who sees more than the design in the tattoo. Other than the fascinating geometric designs, Samoan tattoos have a rich culture and history. The Samoan tribe considered tattooing as an essential ritual, and they would use stones and sticks to complete the process. The tattooing process would take months to complete and was quite painful yet very sacred.

Till today many people get Samoan tattoos, especially after the introduction of modernized designs. The Rock and other famous WWE wrestlers have some amazing Samoan tattoo designs on their bodies.

If you feel like you relate to the history and culture behind Samoan tattoos, then you should get one. To help you out, mentioned below are some of the most exciting Samoan tattoos, with their meanings and the perfect placement options for you. So don’t miss out on the exciting details and let Samoan tattoo hunting begin!

The Meaning behind Samoan Tattoos


Samoan tattoos are one of the few tattoos that have a variety of meanings and symbolize many things. Samoan tattoo includes many symbols and objects in it; each of these has different meanings. Many people believe that even though they might have the same Samoan tattoo, it doesn’t necessarily have the same meaning.

The beauty of the Samoan tattoo is that you can associate any meaning or develop your interpretation, especially one that feels right to you. Most of these meanings are spiritual and awakening. Samoan tattoos have a historical meaning attached to it as boys aged 14 would get these tattoos to symbolize masculinity. The tattooing process was a proper ritual.

Samoan tattoos have a deep symbolism of family. Many people get these tattoos to represent their family line and show how proud they are of their heritage. Samoan tattoos represent many rituals; one of the essential meanings it holds is perseverance and courage. Getting this tattoo shows your courageous characteristics and your strength.

As mentioned earlier, the different Samoan symbols have many other deep meanings. Most of these symbols include shells and different oceanic things. No matter what type of Samoan tattoo you get, the design and pattern outshine a historical meaning. So even if you’re not sure about the main reason or meaning you’re getting the tattoo, the design is more than enough to speak about its historical symbolism.

Ideal Placement for Samoan Tattoos

Samoan tattoos had specific placements due to the tribal designs and the rituals behind some of these designs. Women would preferably get small Samoan tattoos on their legs and hands, and men would get it tatted on their backs all the way down to the knees. In modern times, Samoan tattoos appeared on the arms, especially those that connect to the chest. Getting a Samoan tattoo on your arm represents your creative nature, and shows that you may be on the move in creating something new in life.

 You can also choose to get a Samoan tattoo on your leg or near your calf. This placement represents the effort you’re putting into moving forwards and leaving the past behind. With so many new Samoan tattooing designs, the armband design is the best and looks unique. If you have a strong connection with Samoan traditions and want to go over the top with your Samoan tattoos, you could get your whole body tatted with different Samoan tattoo designs. This is quite a daring move but is very symbolic.

Each placement of Samoan tattoos holds a specific meaning in itself. If you get a Samoan tattoo on your back, this will represent everything you did in the past. Similarly, if you get one on the chest or any front part of your body, it represents your future.

Once you get the right Samoan tattoo design, choosing the best placement for it becomes easier. The Samoan tattoo ideas mentioned below will help you in your selection process to choose the perfect Samoan tattoo.

125+ Samoan Tattoo Ideas

Samoan Tribal Linear Tattoo


Samoan tribal tattoos are quite common and are one of the best Samoan tattoos you could get. This tattoo includes different geometrical lines and designs inked in black. Different designs fit into this tattoo; consider the place you’re getting it done on when opting for the design. The best place to get a Samoan tribal tattoo is on your arm or leg. Arm tattoos that extend till the chest are the perfect place for Samoan tribal tattoos. So get ready to relive the exciting culture of the Samoans by getting this outstanding tattoo.

Shark Teeth Samoan Tattoos

Many symbols appear in Samoan tattoos, as it is a versatile tattoo design. One of the most common and symbolic symbols are shark teeth. This shark teeth Samoan tattoo is perfect for you if you want a body tag that is symbolic and creative. This tattoo includes different tribal patterns with small triangles that represent shark teeth.

The ones that have a double triangular effect are complex shark teeth that look absolutely fabulous. The shark teeth in this tattoo represent strength, guidance, and protection. It also portrays the easiness and importance of adapting to a specific culture. This tattoo would look dashing on your whole arm.

Tiki Face Samoan Tattoo

The Tiki face Samoan tattoo is a unique tattoo that is very sacred to the Samoans. This tattoo includes the face of Tiki inked in black. Tiki represents all the semi-gods that opposed Atua gods, and mostly appears as human-like figures. Around the face are a few circular tribal designs that also include important symbols like shark teeth, waves, and Tiki eyes. This tattoo also symbolizes fertility and protection. As this tattoo includes a circular design, it will look best on your elbow, forehand, or back.

Spearhead Samoan Tattoo

This spearhead Samoan tattoo includes another important Samoan symbol, which is the spearhead. The symbol symbolizes the nature of a true warrior. It showcases a masculine and robust side of your personality and shows how you will fight for those you love. This tattoo includes a spearhead pattern styled in a row with other tribal designs. This tattoo is more like an armband tattoo that encircles your arm. So the perfect place to get this tattoo would be on your arm or around your wrist.

Samoan Ocean Tattoo

Samoan Ocean Tattoo

The ocean is quite an essential symbol of the Samoan as it represents their voyage, and the place their destiny takes them. Ocean Samoan tattoos help you achieve a subtle and unique tattoo look. This tattoo includes black inked ocean patterns that normally appear in a wrist band shape. It makes this tattoo perfect for your arm and looks as if you’re wearing Samoan armband. This tattoo also symbolizes the changes you go through in life and represents death. Take no chance or miss out on such a meaningful tattoo if interested in one.

Stingray Samoan Tattoo

6.	Stingray Samoan Tattoo

Sea creatures are essential symbols that appear in a Samoan tattoo, and they look absolutely stunning. Stingray Samoan tattoo is another popular design that represents the Polynesian tribe and the Samoans. This tattoo includes a black inked stingray with a long tail. The stingray in this tattoo represents protection as stingrays can hide from sharks by burying themselves in the sand. Stingrays also symbolize danger, speed, grace, peace, and agility. The perfect place to pull this tattoo off would be on your shoulder as the size fits there perfectly.

Samoan Turtle Tattoo

Samoan Turtle Tattoo

You could also go for this turtle Samoan tattoo as it is another trending and most popular Samoan tattoo designs. The turtle is said to be a very important symbol of the Samoan tribe and has many meanings. This tattoo includes a Samoan turtle inked in black that with different designs and details, which makes it unique from other common turtles. Around the turtle, there are some other geometric designs and Samoan symbols inked in black. This tattoo symbolizes unity, health, longevity, peace, rest, fertility, and foundation. The perfect place for this tattoo would be near your shoulder or on your back.

Samoan Lizard Tattoo

samoan tattoos

via janser olicio

If you’re looking for a fierce tribal tattoo, then you’ve got to try out this Samoan lizard tattoo. This tattoo includes a black inked lizard with a long tail and some Samoan designs made on its body, including different lines and symbols. This tattoo represents the Gods that appeared in Liars to the Samoan and Polynesians.

This tattoo also represents the communication between God and humans. Many people perceive lizards as a sign of good luck as the Samoans see them as powerful creatures. But they also believe that it can symbolize death. The perfect place for this tattoo would be on your forearm, shoulder, or back.




How much will my Samoan tattoo cost?

The cost of a Samoan tattoo depends on various factors such as the design, placements, and the tattoo parlor you’ve chosen. If you’re going for a traditional Samoan tattoo, it would cost you a minimum of $600 and go up to much more depending on how your tattoo artist charges you. If you’re getting a simpler and smaller version of a Samoan tattoo, the price could range between $150 and $500. You will need to go to an experienced tattoo artist if you’re getting a Samoan tattoo, and skilled tattoo artists mostly charge more than others.

How long will it take for my Samoan Tattoo to complete?

If you’re getting a traditional Samoan tattoo with different designs and symbols, then that would take up a maximum of 9 hours. Sometimes the tattooing process could go over 9 hours depending on your pain tolerance and the skills of the tattoo artist. If you’re opting for a regular Samoan tattoo, it might take 60 minutes to complete, but again, it can go up.

How painful are Samoan Tattoos?

Samoan tattoos are quite painful; however, the pain varies on the place you’re getting your tattoo inked and your tolerance to pain. Samoan tattoos usually take up a lot of time to complete; hence, they bring more pain. If you get it in areas with fewer bones and more fat like your stomach or arm, it will hurt much less. Any tattoo you try comes with pain, and what makes a tattoo more beautiful is the pain you endure for the perfect imagery on your skin. This shouldn’t stop you from getting one as the end-result of the tattoo is worth all the pain.

Is getting a Samoan tattoo a sign of disrespect?

Samoan tattoos are quite popular, and most of the tattoo lovers wear these designs. Hence, it is not disrespectful if you’re getting one. If you plan to get one, it is best to research the different designs first and know the meaning they hold. Also, consider getting a tattoo in an appropriate place.

How did Samoan get tattoos initially?

In the early years, there was no proper tattooing equipment or variety in inks. The early Samoans used to use the end of a comb stick, dip it in ink, and hit the stick into the skin. For this, they would hit the stick hard and place the side of the comb on the skin. This process was quite painful but an important ritual for the Samoans.


With the help of these mind-blowing Samoan tattoo ideas, you can now get a proper Samoan tattoo anywhere on your body and relive the life of the Samoans. Samoan tattoos don’t only look unique because of the fantastic designs they include, but also because of the powerful meanings and symbols that help people in their daily lives. So don’t miss out on these fantastic Samoan tattoo ideas!