“Ohana” means “family.” “Family” means no one gets left behind.”
This quote is from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch (2002). In this cute film, a little Hawaiian girl adopts a strange looking dog who is actually an alien. The word “Ohana” was made quite popular by this film and many people still chose to include it in their tattoo designs.
Today we will look at these ohana tattoos in a little more detail.
The word “ohana” is from the Hawaiian culture and it means family, but not just in the traditional sense. Family in this context includes extended family and friends who are so close that they think of themselves as family.
It also means that they family sticks together and always support each other. An ohana tattoo is one that includes the text “ohana”.
The Meaning Of Ohana Designs
Getting a tattoo like this represents the fact that you are a family orientated person or that you have a group of very close friends that you consider to be your family.
You may choose to get a design like this to show your love for them after they have helped you overcome a problem or just as a symbol of commitment to your family. This tattoo is symbolic of dedication, loyalty, honor, and ultimately, love.
Different Designs To Consider
Ohana tattoos are usually designed with flowing fonts and often in cursive. The font you use for your tattoo can make your design quite unique, so look around until you find one that you love!
While some people just have the word tattooed you can also choose to include other symbols and subjects in your design. Let’s look at some of these in more detail:
Inside Infinity – Adding text into an infinity symbol design is quite trendy at the moment and what could be more special than using “ohana” inside your design to show your infinite love for your family?
These designs could range from small, discreet tattoos to medium size infinity/ohana combinations.
With Flowers – Flowers are often added before or after the word in these designs. While you could choose any flower the most popular choice appears to be the hibiscus in red, pink, or orange.
This is the national flower of Hawaii and often worn by girls on the island (which ties in with the meaning of ohana and the movie).
This tropical flower represents delicate beauty, peace, and unity and is considered a feminine symbol and therefore will be chosen by more women than men for tattoo designs.
With Turtles – Turtles and other marine animals are often included in this type of tattoo design. This also ties back to Hawaii and represents a “go with the flow” island attitude.
Turtles are also considered to be totems of positive change, patience, longevity, and endurance – all of which are very important for someone who is family orientated. Polynesian or tribal turtle designs are also quite sought after.
With Stitch – With his big ears and eyes and strange looking teeth this little blue character stole a lot of hearts. To tie in with the movie quote many people like to include a rendering of this loveable alien experiment in their ohana tattoos.
Sometimes they may include the entire quote and sometimes just the single word.
With Hearts – Hearts are hip symbols that can be included in any design, but when they are added to this type of tattoo design they generally represent the love that the person feels for their extended family i.e keeping them close to your heart.
With Butterflies – Butterflies are a powerful symbol of beauty, change, and freedom. Including a butterfly (or a few butterflies) not only looks pretty and adds color, but it also symbolizes that you are a free spirit who enjoys the security and grounding that your family provides.
In the Japanese culture, the butterfly represents a person’s soul – this sends quite a powerful message about how much you value your loved ones.
Getting The Right Placement For Your Piece
Because this is a small to medium tattoo design it can look good on just about any area of the body. You need to choose a placement that fits in with your lifestyle.
Always remember that tattoos placed on the wrists and hands will fade more quickly than others because they are exposed to a lot of motion and sunlight. Between the shoulder blades and the lower back would be good placements for this tattoo, although you won’t be able to admire it so easily.
Other placements you could consider are above the elbow, the ribs, feet, upper arm, and the lower outer arm. You could also choose the abdomen, but remember that your tattoo could distort if you gain weight in this area.
Idea’s To Play With
The ohana tattoo is connected to family so it is definitely a design to consider for a sibling or family tattoo. This could also be used by couples as a matching tattoo and even as a friendship tattoo.
Micro tattoos are teeny tiny tattoos – sometimes just small dots or shapes. These are quite popular, even with celebs and are perfect for the first timer.
This tattoo design is a firm favorite for micro tattoos, especially above the elbow and behind the ear (both are cute, but will also be quite painful as these are sensitive areas). Micro tattoos may be small but they pack a lot of punch and they are easy to conceal – bonus!
If you love your extended family and value their involvement in your life you’ll want to reflect it in your personal tattoo artwork. Whether you do so with a micro tattoo or a more elaborate, medium size design is of course up to, the meaning will still stay the same.
It’s great to have people to turn to when things are tough and we love the thought of “never leaving anyone behind” no matter how difficult the circumstances may be.
Getting a tattoo like this, especially if you share it with a close friend, relative or sibling will also remind you just how lucky you are to be surrounded by such amazing people!