Maori Tattoos

By | July 11, 2013

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Maori Tattoos are Recognized
as a “Sacred Act”
 Maori tattoos blended with Celtic designs are getting more popular then ever, the selection of folks looking to share or show their particular combined traditions.

history-of-tattoos-Auschwitz_survivorAccording to Maori mythology, Maori tattoos began with a love affair between a young man by the name of Mataora (meaning “Face of Vitality”) and a young princess of the underworld by the name of Niwareka and tattooing came to New Zealand from the Eastern Polynesian tradition.

The term “tattoo” originates from the Tahitian term “tatau”.

Captain James Cook employed the term “tattow” when he discovered needling the very first time in Tahiti, in 1769.

He also returned with a guest, a heavily tattooed Polynesian.


Maori are the native people of “Aotearoa” New Zealand, and their particular story is both long and interesting.

New Zealand is made of two principal islands North Island, with its capital at Wellington, and Auckland as main metropolitan centers; and Island, along with a number of other scaled-down island groups, like the Chathams and Kermadecs.

The particular magnificent surroundings of the two key islands has recently been highlighted in the Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy.

The actual land mass totals around 270,000 sq. km. about the dimensions of Japan or the state of Colorado.

According to verbal records, archaeological discoveries and genetic explanations, historical treatise place the arrival of Maori in New Zealand in the 13th century AD.

The origin of Maori has been reliably tracked to the islands of Eastern Polynesia, and their journey to New Zealand took place in several legendary waka (canoe) voyages over a considerable period of time.

These particular trips recognized Maori as adventurous and amazing adventurers, and among the finest navigating ancestors of all times.

The bone chisels employed for tattooing can be found in archaeological sites of different ages in New Zealand, as well as in some early Eastern Polynesian locations.



Tattooing commenced at adolescence, associated with several rites and rituals.


In addition to making a warrior attractive to women, the tattoo process marked both rites of passage and significant events in a person’s life.

The women weren’t as extensively tattooed as the males.

Their upper lips were defined, generally in dark blue.

The nostrils used to be also incredibly carefully incised. The chin moko had been actually the favorite, and stayed used even into the seventies.

Maori tattoo fine art is incredibly beautiful, consisting of curved shapes and spirals in complex designs.

Maori tattoo body designs are always in abstract forms.

Maori might have body tattoo designs all over but the most prevalent place for was the face, probably a direct result of the cool New Zealand weather.



Wat is fascinating is that ancient Maori tattooist created this unique artwork through their interpretation of nature.

maori-tattoos-maori-tattoo-shouldermaori-tattoos-rocks-tribal-shoulder-tattooContemporary Maori tattooing (particularly in the western world) have moved from the face to the body.

Long, twisted spiral designs that were once placed close to the ears or cheeks are now located along the arms or legs.

Many Maori people find exact replicas of their art insulting. Consequently, many people who are not associated with the Maoris prefer to use designs inspired by, but not directly taken from, these traditional designs.

One good alternative is to use the impressive spirals to produce other symbols.

For instance, instead of using the curved and elegant spirals, you could create a squared off version, and create an interesting puzzle-like pattern.

maori-tattoos-life-takes-life-gives-tattoomaori-tattoos-life-takes-life-gives1You could easily additionally work with massive outlines and compose a design of waves, clouds, or even fire.

Some folks choose to incorporate red and dark tones of violet within their particular patterns; they will occasionally apply orange and grey too in the event that their particular creations consist of items such as thesunlight, moon or perhaps blossom.

Metallic colors are often used to create weapon designs like intricate knives, swords, and even shooting stars.

Burgundy and purple can be used for a number of spiralling flower blossoms.



Because of the beauty of these kind of patterns, it may be tempting to explore this sort of art tattoo, but you should remember that there is a important meaning towards the Maori people.

Needling is known as a Sacred Act, and need to, like any different ethnical sign, BE RESPECTED.

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