This Polynesian manta tattoo was prepared for Matt as part of a piece dedicated to wa'a (Polynesian canoe) racing and it covers the upper back from side to side connecting the right and left half sleeves.
All the three parts have some common elements: spearheads, octopus tentacles, and shark teeth for tenacity, adaptability, and strength, the warrior; rows of birds to symbolize voyages; tiki for the divinity and protection.
The manta on the back has a big tiki in the center bringing harmony and peace (the Marquesan cross and the sun made of mountains for stability), allowing him to live every moment, every voyage, without worrying about what could or could not happen, and this is the source of Matt's strength (the spearheads below the tiki).
People within the sun represent the unity among the paddlers as a central life experience, while ancestors are on top to guard on them.
The general shape is that of the hihimanu, reaching onto the shoulders, to represent beauty imbueing all aspects of life, and it is designed to incorporate centrally an existing smaller ray.
The colored image below shows the main elements within the tattoo: