Maori Tattoos And Meanings-Maori History And Tattoo Designs

MAORI TATTOOS


One popular tattoo that you may want to consider is Maori tattoos. Maori tattoos are a popular tattoo choice for many men. Although Maori tattoos are mainly worn by men, women do get such tattoos. Maori tattoos can be designed in a variety of different ways. Maori tattoo designs are traditionally done in black ink and vary in size. However, some tattoo artist put their own twist on this type of tattoo so you may see different designs, symbols, and colors.

In this article, we will talk about the history of Maori tattooing. You will also have the opportunity to view a variety of Maori tattoos and Maori themed tattoo designs. Not all the tattoos pictured in this article are Maori tattoos. Instead, it is pictures of tattoos done in the Maori theme. In the end, we hope that you are able to find ideas and inspiration for your next tattoo.





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MAORI TATTOOS AND CULTURE


In the entire world, there is no other tattoo society that can compare to that of the ancient Maori. When we look back at the ancient Maoris, there may be no other culture with as much symbolic history toward tattooing. Tattooing in the Maori culture was a very important process that involved both men and women in the tribe. These tattoos weren't for body art or beautification. Every single pattern tattooed on the Maori would tell a story and hold deep symbolic meaning. These tattoos were their life's story.









The ancient Maori used ancient tattooing techniques that would actually cut the skin. They would use bones and other tattooing tools to engrave tattoos into the skin. These tattoos were carved instead of using the puncture technique. The Maori culture of tattooing dates back thousands of years. To date, it is one of the oldest tattooing styles in the world.










Maori tribe members received tattoos as young adults and continued to do so into their elder years. Tattoo art was very important to the Maori and it was done during rituals. Back then, you could look at a tribe member's tattoos to learn what they have done and where they have been. These tattoos can tell of a person's rank and status in the tribe. Tattoos were also given for bravery in war and for certain accomplishments as well. They could also represent their family and family tree. The Maori youth would receive their first tattoo when they first reach adulthood.










Maori tattoos contain a number of spirals and curved shapes in intricate patterns. These smaller circles can also blend together to form a larger design or image. These tattoos were also curvilinear. Men and women in the tribe would get tattoos in different locations. Men would usually get tattoos on their face, legs, and butt. Women would usually get tattoos on their chin, lips, neck, and back. In modern day, these types of tattoos are usually tattooed on the arms.













As you may already know, getting tattooed by cutting the skin would be extremely painful. The Maori would receive many different tattoos as they got older. The Maori considered the tattoo process as a show of strength and courage. Once the skin was cut, it would be filled with ash and soot. This combination would give the tattoo that traditional black pigment.












The Maori are from New Zealand and they still reside there today. Maori art was also called Ta Moka. The entire tattoo process was a part of rituals and ceremonies with music and festival activities. In a sense, tattooing was just as important as air and water to the Maori. In current Maori, they are still tattoo artist giving traditional Maori tattoos. It is a rich tattoo tradition that has stood for the past 2,000 years.









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THINGS TO REMEMBER


Maori tattoos are very symbolic to the traditional Maori culture. There are actually many Maoris that feel like their cultural tattoos are not portrayed in the correct way because of the influence of Western civilization. The Maori tattoos that you see today are similar in design, but are often done as arm tattoos. Face tattoos are still done by the Maori in New Zealand, but rare anywhere else outside the Maori.








There are a large variety of different Maori designs for you to choose from. Some tattoo artist use Maori designs and put their own creative touch on the design. Some tattoo artist in your area may have a Maori background. Either way, if you are seeking a Maori tattoo design, you need to make sure you go to an appropriate tattoo artist. It would be a good idea to look at their past work as well.








It is very important to make sure you research all possible designs, styles, and meanings before you choose a final tattoo design. There are literally thousands of designs to look over when you are considering a tattoo. Make sure you take your time and look over all designs that you are interested in. It is also important to choose a proper location to get your tattoo. You may need to get a tattoo you can hide when needed at this point in your life. Take your time, consider all options, and do your research. In the end, you will be much more happier. You don't want a tattoo that you will regret later on down the road.

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Comments 22 comments

lisa.bom 4 years ago

Very interesting read.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

These tattoos are interesting but for me to really like them I need more color. Great hub anyway.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Lisa, thank you for taking the time to drop by and read this article. Best wishes.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Gypsy, thank you for taking the time to come by again my friend. Yeah, they really lack the color but they make up for it with cultural aspects in a sense.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

Nothing but the best from you.. you know these tattoos make the flesh look like wood :) Frank


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Neat! That first picture has the center part of the Aztec calendar (from the Sun Stone) on his arm - or at least it looks like it. Neat-o!! Voted up!!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

The nurse in me cringes at the thought of cutting and filling with ash and soot. The man's face looked very painful. Different strokes for different folks applies here. I am sure the traditions are very important to them. Well researched and interesting...Voted up my friend..


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Frank, thanks for another visit friend. That is a good point. In a way, I see what you are seeing.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

CC, thanks for taking the time to view this article. It is greatly appreciated. So many different cultures were symbolic about the sun. The sun was portrayed as the source of all life to many.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

AE, thanks for dropping by for another visit. It had to be extremely painful. How could you ever get use to skin cuts? It tells of their strong beliefs.


Quintyn veltmeyer 4 years ago

Mean tatz da best ive seen anyway.i wnt one lyk it.


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thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Quintyn, thank you so much for taking the time to come by. Glad you liked them. Take care and best wishes.


samuel 4 years ago

thanks for the lovely story,thank you.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Samuel, thanks for taking the time to come by and read it. Thanks very much.


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

My hubbie, who is crazy about tattoos and knows a lot about them, says that not just anyone can do maori tattoos. Years ago he got a big maori tattoo after carefully selecting the right person to do it. He says that maori tattoos are special and very complicated to work with. The tattoo is also a cover up and it looks great - worth every penny he spent (these tattoos are not so affordable).


alyyy 3 years ago

i'm interested in maori tattoo but i dnt know what the meaning of the symbols.. and i wanna do one so can anyone help me?


Regan 3 years ago

People, please do not just go get a Maori tattoo from anybody, do not take a copy (off the web) of what you see on someone else"s skin. Ta Moko (Tattoo) is very serious tapu (sacred) to our people and holds huge importance to the bearer. You should ask for Kirituhi, it is very similar to the Maori theme of Tattoo and is not at all offensive to the Maori. If your tattooist does not know what kirituhi is.... find one who does! Kia Ora!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia Author

Regan, thanks for your comment. This is why I explain that these tattoos are only examples, some are Maori, others are not. Just as you stated, if you're wanting a traditional Maori tattoo, you need to go to a traditional Maori tattoo artist. If you're lucky, they'll give you one. This is why many people get them in other areas because traditional Maori tattoos are kept within the tribe, the family. You have to respect that practice.


Rebekah 2 years ago

Thinking of getting a moko? Are you Maori? Maybe you should consider your own ancestries tattoo designs. These are sacred designs.


duja 2 years ago

I just got my left arm sleeve. It is of maori design by my grandfather who is of maori culture. I love it. It was expensive and uses a lot of ink to do but the 5 hours spent in the chair was worth every penny. I am hoping to one day get a real one of ash and soot. I want the experience...


smk 18 months ago

Sacred? Koru which is probably the most common design is from NZs most known plant of the unfurled fern. I have a Maori mate who has a Japanese design with a catfish which is very common. He's not offending Japan. I have some Irish blood and with it a clan family crest. If someone gets a tattoo of it but doesn't have my family name, I don't give a shit. It's time to stop the moaning and enjoy life. I have a sleeve with a lot of Maori influence, but I could easily say its Hawaiian or just Polynesian in general. I have been living in NZ for longer than most Maoris alive today. For anyone younger than me to tell me I can't have designs which are part of MY countries history, are moaning fools. I have friends and family through marriage who have Maori ancestry who have stated their ancestors would be proud that pakeha have embarrassed their cultures enough to mark themselves permanently.


mikeydcarroll67 18 months ago

These are very intricate designs. I love them!

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    Richard Ricky Hale (thelyricwriter)704 Followers
    475 Articles

    Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings and history.



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