Maori tattoo has their traditional style called Moko, with differences from men and women. Warriors, in this amazing tattoo tradition, use the Moko to tell their story, the most important events which happened to them, or their life behaviour.
For women, it is different, they use Moko in Maori tattoo for first on their chin, to represent the bond with a man, a warrior of their tribe. Moko, still has a peculiarity, which is the zone of the face where it gets done, which is divided into eight main target:
The centre of the forehead called the ngakaipikirau, designated a person’s general rank.
The area under the brows of Maori tattoo, called ngunga, designated his position. The area around his eyes and nose, uirere, designated his hapu, or sub-tribe rank.
The area around the temples, uma, served to detail his marital status, like the number of marriages he had.
The area under the nose, raurau, displayed the man’s signature that was once memorised by tribal chiefs who used it when buying property, signing deeds and officiating orders.
The cheek area in maori tattoo, taiohou, showed the nature of the person’s work. The chin area, wairua, showed the person’s mana or prestige.
Lastly, the jaw area or taitoto designated a person’s birth status.
After this little introduction, we can start to understand that little, but so much important, difference between maori tattoo and polynesian tattoos.
Maori tattoo, can be split into three main categories, which are: Enata, representing the history of your life, what brands you deep and your life behaving. Etua, representing your spiritual bond with the elements and the gods, trying to protect you like a talisman. And finally, we got Kirituhi, which is a kind of tattoo that everyone can get on his/her body, without breaking traditions.
In maori tattoo style, we have to understand not the importance of only one little symbol, but the whole figures we put in it, cause they're maybe the biggest part of our maori tattoo, giving us the real meaning of what we got on our skins.
In this first maori tattoo piece, we got some geckos, meaning of supernatural powers, regeneration and survival instincts, a turtle, speaking of fertility, family and life continuous. We got even a mantra which means freedom, protection and beauty.
This maori tattoo, has a second turtle peace, much bigger, still having his own meaning, with the addition of symbols like the shark teeth, for strength and ferocity and a marquesan cross, meaning the balance between elements.
In this maori tattoo composition, we can look at a lizard, which is a spiritual guide for shamans and a lucky bearer, a tiki, which in maori tradition, contains a spirit, means fertility and gives us some luck. For the hammerhead shark, we know that it means strength, sociability and determination.
In this maori tattoo as big as amazing back piece, we can see a double tiki face, which protects us from the dangers by all sides, a series of spearheads meaning of strength, a warrior all assembled into a mantha composition, which we remember that means freedom, protection and beauty.
And finally, as always guys, remember to give a deep meaning to your maori tattoo, don't let it be just a brand on your skin, but put yourselves in it!