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Maori tattoos: photos and the meaning of ancient art


Raise your hand if you've never heard Maori tattoos... There probably won't be many hands up, as these are some of the most famous tribal tattoos. However, not everyone knows the origin and meaning of these tattoos in the past and continue to have today. So if you're willing to give yourself Maori tattoo for men or plus maori women tattoo for women, this article is for you.

What is itorigin of maori tattoos?

Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They have the typical form of body art they call Moko and what we know by the name is Maori tattoos. The Maori, in turn, adopted this art from the Polynesian population, making it their own and giving it a touch of sacredness. It happened exactly in 1769, when, thanks to Captain James Cook, the inhabitants of Eastern Polynesia met the Maori. Also, the word "tattoo" we use today is just an adaptation of a Polynesian word. hang.

The meaning of Maori tattoos

In the past, but for many still, Maori tattoos symbolized the transition to adulthood, as well as social status, a sign of prestige and wealth. Since the head was considered the most important part, often men and women tattooed this part, often completely. Of course, today few people tattoo their faces, but in more distant times, even among the Maori, this was a sign of great prestige and beauty.

The most interesting about Maori tattoos in the fact that no two are alike: there are intricate motives that are not characteristic of the artist as such, but typical forMaori art... The Maori tattoo artist is called tattoo artist which is nothing like this Maori Tattoo Specialist... These artists are treated with great respect because their art is considered sacred.

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In fact, there is also a legend explainingorigin of maori tattoos, the legend of Mataore... In fact, they say that I and moko, namely the Maori tattoos that came from the underworld called Uetonga. Legend has it that there was a young warrior named Mataora who fell in love with a beautiful princess from the underworld named Nivareka. Their love was so great that Nivareka decided to go to the upper world to marry Mataora. However, Mataora treated Nivareka badly and she went home to the world below.

Apologizing for his wife's mistreatment and determined to bring her back, Mataora returned to the world below, where he found himself taunting Nivareki's family, partly because of his restless face and partly because of his smeared drawings on his face. Mataora apologized to the family, and that was enough for Nivareka to decide to return to her side. However, it is said that before leaving, Nivareki's father gave Mataore a gift: art and moko, the art of Maori tattooing. Mataora brought this gift to her peopleand from that point on, Maori tattoos have spread.

Each drawing and pattern has a specific meaning in Maori art *..

Here are the meanings of the main Maori motives:


he personifies warriors, battles, courage and, of course, strength.


Aside from a symbol of prosperity, this pattern is typical of the Taranaki region of New Zealand.

Image Source: Pinterest.com and Instagram.com


Like fish scales, they represent prosperity, health and abundance.

Ahu Ahu Mataroa:

this exemplar shows the talent and goals achieved in areas such as athletics and sports, and is also a symbol of the new challenges to be faced.


a motif that resembles the teeth of a whale, but does not have an exact meaning.

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(* Original images of Maori motives and meanings: www.zealandtattoo.co.nz/tattoo-styles/maori-tattoos/)

Best Maori Tattoo Places

Maori tattoos are designed specifically for each person, and in the process of creating them, they can be adapted to a specific part of the body. Given this fact, Maori tattoos are extremely versatile, but there are gods. more popular placements than others.

I Maori tattoo on his hands for example they are real classics. You know the mountain of muscle and empathy this name evokes. Dwayne Johnson is also known as The Rock?

His Maori tattoo covers his arm and most of his chest (which is a HUGE bib, by the way). In a similar vein, many characters from the bodybuilding world choose Maori tattoos to adorn their arms, calves, chest muscles, and sometimes back.

However, nothing prevents you from opting for a small Maori tattoo that is suitable for small areas of the body such as hands, wrists, heels, neck and so on. This is the case of the famous singer, entrepreneur, actress, model and queen of absolute style, Rihanna, who has a beautiful Maori tattoo on her arm, which we also talked about in this article.

The fact that international diva Rihanna chose a Maori tattoo for her arm is a clear suggestion that Maori tattoos are feminine and not the prerogative of fit and muscular men.

The best Italian Maori tattoo artists

There are several artists in Italy specializing in this style. They are tattoo artists who embraced the Maori art, learning its secrets and meanings. Among the names to be mentioned are Luigi Marchini e Raniero Patukiki, two artists know how to get truly breathtaking Maori and Polynesian tattoos.

Technically speaking, a Maori tattoo can be done by any professional and experienced tattoo artist. However, when creating a Maori tattoo, it is important to rely on a tattoo artist who knows the history and origins of this style, because they will be able to give that extra touch and meaning to what they create on your skin.

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