25 Amazing Hawaiian Tattoo Designs For Men - 2023

Natasha Rajesh Dhamale

Updated At  19 Feb 23

Looking out for the best Hawaiian Tattoo designs for inspiration? Keep browsing as we have covered the best ones trending this season.

The traditional tattoo art of the Hawaiian people carries a lot of significance and gratification from their ancient culture. It is known to be as ‘kakau’ and was a hefty process which only skilled artisans were able to perform.


KAKAU - Traditional Tattoo Art

Hawaii is a state, or you can say a group of islands which are a part of the Western United states. They are a group of around 157 volcanic islands which lie in the Pacific Ocean, around 2000 miles away from the USA mainland. The islands were inhabited by the Polynesian explorers and soon began the exotic cultural formation. The Hawaiian people resided in the islands with their own set of strict rules and taboos which were to be followed. The art of “KAKUA” was the tattooing art which was only done on the bodies of the people who successfully abided by the rules formed. Kakua included the various symbols and marks which were sacred in the Hawaiian culture like turtles, sharks, warrior weapons, Hawaiian deities and more.

Usually, more men got it done on their bodies than women. It was an act of extreme bravery and heroism. The warriors got it embodied to show their spirit and what they were capable of. It was mostly worked on people who had lost their loved ones and wanted to pay their respects.

The kakau trained specialists were known as “Kahuna” and they were the only people who knew how to apply the tattoos. The process consisted of making cuts on the body and filling each cut with a pigment which was made from ash and soot from the kukui tree. The cut was made by a mallet which could be anything, ranging from a bird’s beak to a fish bone or even a needle. The tattoos took lengthy periods of time to heal completely and it was considered an exhausting hurtful procedure, they looked as if designs of carved on the body with dark black ink.

The process was carried out in extreme secrecy, at times even the weapons were destroyed after the kahuna had executed his art.


KAKAU And Hawaiian Tattoos Evolution

 The Polynesian islands in the early 1800s were invaded by the Europeans by the aim of colonization, which started to put an end to the traditional Hawaiian culture. Slowly, the Kahunas started to fade away taking away their secret art of Kakau along. But the intricate patterns and designs of the art still stay with us. The current tattoos have a major intense influence of the Hawaiian tattoo art. People love to get inked in the designs inspired by the original art.

There still exists a tattoo studio in Hawaii which gets you inked in the tribal ancient Kakau way where numerous people go to experience the roots of this art.



25 Best Hawaiian Tattoos For Men

chest shoulder

1. Chest & Shoulder Tattoo

The most popular and exquisite looking Hawaiian tattoos on men are the chest & shoulder tattoos which cover half of the chest, entire shoulder and bicep. The tattoos are made up of spiral patterns, triangles and various other Hawaiian tattoo design elements. They are done in jet black ink and impart and strong, bold and ferocious look to the personality.

Check out our guide to find out the best hawaiian tattoo designs for females as we cover all the latest ones including their detailed designs and descriptions.


2. Spearhead Tattoo

The spearhead or the arrow are the warrior weapons in the Hawaiian culture. They impart and signify prosperity, strength, protection. They are a simple of fight and safety. The spearheads were generally inked on the warriors who fought battles as a token of their bravery. The spearhead tattoos also represented the fishermen.

warrior helmet

3. Warrior Helmet Tattoo

The warrior helmet was a head gear worn by the chief and was decorated with feathers. It was a symbol of leadership and protection. A tattoo of this Hawaiian warrior helmet would be a highly recommended Hawaiian tattoo design for men as it magnifies the male persona.

shark hammer

4. Shark Tattoo With Teeth

The Hawaiian waters are famous for its sharks with around 40 different species to be seen in the ocean. The shark teeth which are symbolized by triangles are a famous design in the tribal Hawaiian tattoos. Also, there is depiction of the hammerhead shark through the designs.


5. Octopus Tattoo

The octopus tattoos are a funky tattoo option to go for. Octopus rediscover the power of knowledge and their 8 tentacles symbolize multi-tasking. A brilliant ink in the list of Hawaiian tattoo designs for men.

Do check out our guide to find 25 best back tattoos for men which have been trending this year. Along with Octopus, we have many more designs like religious, professional tattoos, animal tattoos, bird tattoos, zodiac tattoos.


6. Crocodile Tattoo

Crocodile is a dangerous and strong animal which ferociously hunts on its prey. Though it isn’t native to Hawaii but the crocodile tattoo art in the Hawaiian style looks incredibly stunning. The crocodile is also a masculine trait animal which included stealth, agility and strength.


7. Calf Tattoos

Calf tattoos look incredibly astounding on men and are one of the best Hawaiian tattoo designs for men. These are generally big tattoos and cover the entire calf muscle.


8. Skull Tattoo

The skull is a representation of death and usually a negative symbol. It can also denote overcoming the hustles even in death. It is a unusual but startling tattoo option, can be designed in the Hawaiian style and look great on the male body.


9. Lizard Tattoo

The lizards are a very sacred and respected animal in the Hawaiian culture and even their mythology holds a special place for lizards. In the mythology, the lizards are known to be shapeshifting spirits. Hawaii is also really famous for geckos which are present almost everywhere. The lizards are a symbol of rebirth and reconciliation after a loss, adaptability and nimbleness. The traditional Hawaiian tattoos included the lizards in its designs.


10. Elephant Tattoo

Elephants are beautiful, grand and loyal animals. They stand for divinity and good luck and are respected across cultures all around the world. An elephant tattoo by the Hawaiian way would be an apt Hawaiian tattoo design for men.


11. Hawk Tattoo

The Hawaiian is another bird species which is found in Hawaii and considered to be a symbol of royalty. Hawk is a bird of prey and also considered to be having strong characteristics of being a skilled hunter as they have tough beaks and sharp talons. If you want to go for a tattoo with a brain that is powerful and showcases royalty, then the hawk is a perfect choice.


12. Owl Tattoo

The owl has always been a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. In the mythical world of the Hawaiian culture, owls were considered to be a creature of magic who would rescue the warriors to safety and guide the lost souls. The owl design are a tribal tattoo element  and are an excellent Hawaiian tattoo design for men. 


13. Intricate Large Scale Hawaiian Tattoo

The tribal people of the Hawaiian people indulged in inking huge parts or their entire bodies with detailed tattoos. These inks were huge, took long hours to complete and also even more to heal. They were minutely decorated and the designs are still done just using the modern tattoo art techniques.


14. Wolf Tattoo

The wolf is an animal known for its loyalty and spiritual protection. There was a mythological character, which was a wolf in the Hawaiian stories. Plenty of people wanted to get the wolf tattooed and it’s a famous tattoo design. The Hawaiian tattoo design of the wolf is one to die for. One of the popular tattoos for men, the wolf tattoo is always in trend. 



15. Hawaiian Turtle Tattoo

The Hawaiian Islands lie in the Pacific Ocean, hence covered with water from all sides. The green sea turtles are famous in Hawaii and are given a spiritual position. They are also considered to be amazing navigators, which bring endurance and good luck along. The sea turtle has been part of the traditional Hawaiian tattoos and also included in the designs till this day.


16. Bull Tattoo

The bull is a foremost symbol of masculinity and an extremely powerful huge animal, known by its dangerous horns. The bull tattoos are a must have in the best Hawaiian tattoo designs for men.


17. Lion Tattoo

The common meaning of lion tattoos mostly probably is taken to be the brave heart and strength. It represents power of the king of the jungle and conveys the big cat energy. The lion tattoo designs which Hawaiian detailing look incredibly beautiful on male skin.

floral (1)

18. Hawaiian Floral Tattoo

A lot of people unfortunately consider the floral Hawaiian tattoos to be inked just on women. But that’s isn’t true and fair. These floral Hawaiian tattoos look just as amazing on men as they would on women. They consist of the designs made up of the native and famous Hawaiian flowers.


19. Forearm Tattoos

Forearm is a good place for men to get tattoos. And a Hawaiian tattoo on the forearm just add in to its sense of allure.


20. Tribal Neck Tattoo

The Hawaiian neck tattoos were also done in the tribal setting where the warriors got these to make them look fiercer in war. Men still get these tattoos done as they have a strong aura to them and look impressive and extraordinary.


21. Tiger Tattoo

Tiger is the predator of the jungle, known to be a representation of extreme raw power, something that you fear but is grand. The tiger tattoos are piercing and a great Hawaiian tattoo design for men.


22. Knuckle Tattoo

Knuckle tattoos look great on men, they create imposture and sensational. Even the traditional tribal Hawaiian tattoos consisted of knuckle tattoos. These tattoos are usually made up of triangular and swirly patterns and sometimes even have the Hawaiian symbols.



23. Back Coverage Hawaiian Traditional Tattoo

The Hawaiians even had huge tattoos on their back, especially men. These tattoos had a range of variety and literally could consist of multiple representations, whether it be flowers, animals or weapons. The back Hawaiian tattoos are authentic representation of the culture of Hawaii and a fabulous Hawaiian tattoo design for men if you are looking for something connected to the origins of Hawaii.


24. Spiral Tattoos

These tattoos consist of spiral patterns, these spiral swirly patterns are a common design of the Hawaiian tattoos and look intricate.

armband (1)

25. Armband Tattoos

The Hawaiian designed armband inks are a very popular tattoo and look striking and captivating, despite being so common.