Turtle can be the most important and popular element in Polynesian culture. It’s connected to many meanings and the most common ones are long life (eternity), wellness, fertility, union, family and harmony. It also symbolizes the navigator.
Turtle plays an essential role in Polynesian culture. The sea is regarded as the source of food and Polynesian people believe that it’s also the world beyond, in which they will rest after death. And because turtles can freely move between the sea and lands, Polynesian people believe that they will bring them to their destination, the rest place.
Turtle are often designed with many complex patterns and symbols to express plenty of meanings. We will list one complex turtle design below.
Two “enatas” combined are one form of turtle. Other forms are turtle shells combined together, like the ones represented in the picture below the header.
Below are several samples that include turtles.