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Frequently Asked Questions

What does NĀ KOA mean?

NĀ KOA is a Hawaiian term, meaning “the bold, the courageous”.
We chose it because NĀ KOA tribal tattoo gear is not for everyone. Far from it: it’s not for the insecure type. The “must fit in” type. The “need your approval” type.
It’s for the “I have the courage to live my life on my own terms” type.
Are you that type?

Do you have any gear that uses only the ancient, traditional tattoo style?

At NĀ KOA, we work only with contemporary Polynesian tattoo art. That’s out of respect for the Polynesian cultures because we believe that the designs of ancient times are only appropriate for individuals who have deep roots and involvement with a given culture..

You use the terms “Tribal Tattoo” and “Polynesian Tattoo”. Do they mean the same?

We aren’t really happy using the term “Tribal Tattoo”. Though Polynesian tattoos are often called tribal tattoos, the term is not accurate. Polynesian cultures weren’t tribal, and the term “tribal” has the whiff of “primitive”, doesn’t it? But the fact is, we want to bring the beauty of Polynesian tattoos to a wide audience – and many people search for the term “tribal tattoo”. We didn’t compromise in creating NĀ KOA gear, but in this case, we did – we’re using the more authentic “Polynesian tattoo” and the popular “Tribal tattoo” interchangeably.

Why do you use leather rather than vegan leather?

There are many fake “leathers”, usually sold under the names “PU leather”, “PVC leather” “faux leather”, even “vegan leather”. None of these should really be called leather – they should be called plastic. PVC “leather” is made of vinyl, PU is made from polyurethane, and so on.

For us at NĀ KOA it isn’t simply a matter of preference, though we love leather: genuine leather is beautiful, develops a patina with use, has the great leather touch and smell … And it wasn’t just that real art, created by real artists deserves better than being placed on something fake. More important to us is the fact that the plastic “leathers” take hundreds of years to decompose. You can’t love Hawaii and all of Polynesia, the beautiful Pacific ocean and its sea life – and contribute to the mountains of plastic that are floating in it.

Why don’t you use mesh for the ID window?

We don’t use mesh because it obscures the card just enough that you need to remove the ID whenever you need to show it. In our mind, that defeats the whole purpose of having a separate ID window

What do you think? Would you prefer mesh? Drop us a note and let us know.

I want to carry more than 2 cards in my Akamai card holder allows. Can I force more than one into each card slot?

All our Polynesian tribal tattoo gear is made with 100% Napa leather that is soft and pliable. If you place 2 credit cards into each slot, they will fit very snuggly at first, but the leather will break in very soon and accommodate the cards easily.

How do I care for my NĀ KOA gear?

Treat your NĀ KOA gear like you would any fine leather item:

To remove dirt from your NĀ KOA gear, rub it gently with a slightly damp cloth – don’t scrub it.

If you need a deeper clean, use a leather cleaner such as Saddle Soap. Make sure that the leather cleaner does not contain chemicals, abrasives or leaves any greasy residue behind.

Before applying anything to your NĀ KOA item, test in a hidden area to ensure the cleaner is compatible with the leather. Once you’re sure the leather care product is acceptable, gently apply it with a clean and soft cloth.

Always follow the instructions that came with the leather care product you chose.

What are your shipping charges?

Our shipping rates are easy:

Orders over $50:  free!

Orders less than $50: $6.50

So add an Akamai card holder to your order of a Polynesian cuff! You basically save half of the cost of the card holder with the free shipping!

What shipping methods do you use?

Typically your order will be shipped using USPS Priority Mail from Hawaii. Priority Mail is trackable, and only takes about 3 days to reach you on the mainland, and less in Hawaii.

Do you ship to other Polynesian destinations like Guam? Samoa? Tahiti? New Zealand?

At the moment, we ship to American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. We will add other destinations soon. Send us a message on Facebook to let us know the country you want us to ship to. It helps to rush us along when we know there is interest in our products.

Do you ship internationally?

For now, we only ship within the continental US, Hawaii, and Alaska. This will change in the future.

How soon do you ship after an order is placed?

We typically ship within 24 hours of when the order was placed.

Do you offer gift wrapping?

Sorry, we don’t – at least not for now.

What’s your return policy?

We want our customers to be happy with their NĀ KOA gear. If you find any fault with your purchase, please contact us immediately. Please tell us your order number and include a photo of the flaw, and we will either return your money or send you a replacement, depending on your choice and our ability (for example, the item may not be in inventory any more).

Do you collect sales tax?

We are required to collect sales tax for purchases shipped to California and Hawaii..

Where are you located and how can someone contact you?

We are a small company, but we’re spread out: we have a design office in Maui, an administrative office in Northern California, and NĀ KOA gear is shipped from a warehouse and shipping facility in Honolulu. The best way to contact us is by email:, whoever is the right person for what you need will get back to you.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept Paypal and Visa, Mastercard, Discovery and American Express credit cards

Do I need an account to place an order?

No, you don’t.