5 SPIRITUAL MAORI TATTOOS investigates symbols behind maori tattoos - SANTIAGO SPIRIT
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Posted on February 08, 2016 by admin mariasalvador | 4 comments


maori tattoo mariasalvador

Maori People, New Zealand. Photo by Jimmy Nelson

The Maori tattoos have become very popular and widespread. Beaches in at least half of the people they have one. It's one of the most used and it is important to read up before you make one.

The Maori are a Polynesian people native and widespread in the north of New Zealand around the ninth century AD. The meaning of the word Maori is "ordinary" and "normal". Unlike neighboring indigenous to Australia, the Maori are a people respected. The community represents 14% of the population of New Zealand. The museums tell of their heritage and their deity. The nerve centers of town names Maori. The supreme deities were Ranginui (Heavenly Father) and Papatuanuku (Mother Earth); then they worshiped many other gods of the land, forest and sea, as well as practiced ancestor worship.

The tattoo differs from other warriors. On their skin embossed with the victories, defeated enemies, their strength and courage. The Maori tattoos are divided into two groups: "Moko" intended only to people of Maori and "Kirituhi" that can be done on anyone.

The "Moko" is a symmetrical design that emphasizes facial facial following them with double spirals. The word comes from "Mo'o" which in Hawaiian means "snake" - which follow the structure of the face. In other variants the Moko is tattooed all over his body. In women is tattooed on the chin and indicates that they are linked to a warrior Maori.

For the Maori tattoo art over much of the body is a very important rite, a necessary step since his teens and was practiced by experts: from the modest to the face of women to the more flashy on their breasts, upper lip and thighs. Tattoos are a symbol of beauty for women and pride, strength and courage for men. For soldiers it indicates the rank, businesses and courage in battle; some tattoos report even the number of people killed or captured enemy (the Maori heads cut off the enemy killed and preserved as a trophy of victory).

The symbols most used in tattoos are:

 Maori turtle tattoo


With its shell turtle is offered as an ideal candidate to address the protection of family and friends. In addition to the protection and perseverance, given that we are faced with one of the long-lived animals among the known species.

 Maori marquesan tattoo


Used to symbolize the balance between the elements and the harmony. Its origin is unknown but some studies link it to the turtle's shell.

 Maori sun tattoo


It represents wealth, brilliance and leadership. It's considered resource of light, natural health and nourishment. It's a tattoo very dynamic to watch.

 Maori spear head tattoo


Symbolize courage, wisdom and strength. Represent the image of the warrior.

 Maori ocean tattoo


There are various designs and can be interpreted as a symbol of death or as a symbol of the realm of the hereafter.

Posted in maori, marquesan cross, ocean, shell, spear head, spirituality, sun, tattoo, turtle



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May 27, 2021



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February 12, 2020

I’m Maori and all (but one) of these designs are definitely not. It also makes little to no sense that the word moko would come from a Hawaiian work because Maori came from French Polynesia (as did the Hawaiian people) so no Maori words would come from Hawaiian words or vice versa, they would both share an origin. I’ve just been in French Polynesia and all but one of these designs (the spider one)) look Marquesan. Maori are from Aotearoa, we don’t have turtles.

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