What is a Samoan tattoo called? – Tattoo Designs And Meanings

A tattoo is a graphic representation of one’s body or personality. They are made by tattooing the skin, with a permanent ink or paste, and are permanent, meaning they will not break, fade or peel off. Most people have tattoos, especially among their innermost parts. There are different types of tattoo, and they involve different techniques. For example, a sarmur tattoo is a type of sarmur that was invented by the Samoans in the 19th century that resembles a cow in its appearance. Samoans have traditionally worn a sarmur on the upper left arm, and in recent years were also considered to have adopted a similar design on their lower arms.

So what kind of tattoos do Samoans have?

Samoans are well-known for their tattoos. There are a number of different types that are considered to be typical of Samoan culture. They include tattoos of the head, neck, feet and more. Most tattoos consist of intricate designs. One of the most famous tattoos is the “Tomb Raider”. This beautiful and detailed image of someone’s name and birth, combined with a skull and crossbones, depicts a warrior and a “woman in the sacred cave of a Samoan woman. There are many other sarmur design types, but for the purpose of this guide, we will focus on some of the more famous ones.

Who makes samoans tattoo designs?

Some of the famous tattoo companies that are commonly known by Samoans are:


The Ollay tattoo shop in Rotorua is a family business, established in 1973 by husband and wife David and Elizabeth Ollay. Ollay is known for its famous tattoo designs, such as the “Jaleco Man”, also known as “The Killer Clown” or “The Death Star”. Many people have tattoos in honor of Ollay and they are well known in New Zealand.

In a way, David Ollay has two tattoos: “The Jaleco Man” on his left forearm and “The Dictator” on his right forearm, the latter which depicts King Banaue III, the founder of the Jaleco-Kakaawa Nation and ruler of the Dukunjiro people. Ollay also has a sarmur on his upper left abdomen/left bicep, which represents a “Tomb Raider”.

Kikitane Tattoo


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