Maori tribal tattoos show presence, and a deep link to the Maori community. Maoris are a staunchly proud people, who take their culture very seriously. These tribal tattoos are widely seen around New Zealand, and increasingly, the world. Check out some of the amazing Maori designs below.
Tribal tattoos have always been a popular design choice but have gained more exposure in the last few years since the various forms of tribal tattoos have been more widely showcased as tattoos become more common place and we are exposed to different tribes across the globe.
The Maori tribal tattoos, though largely preferred by men, are slowly gaining popularity among women as well. These can be designed and rendered in many ways. Traditionally, Maori tattoos are in black ink. The size can vary depending on the design and the location of the Maori tribal design. Let’s take a look at 30 of our favorite ones.
Chest and arm sleeve
Maori tattoos will often tell the story or heritage of a person of Maori origins. Many of the symbols are traditional but sometimes they will also incorporate modernized patterns in to them. This particular style of tattoo going across the chest and the arm has been popularized recently since the famous wrestler/movie star ‘The Rock’ has a similar tattoo.
This is still a piece in work as you can see some of it is yet to be colored in. Some people will let tattooists do tribal designs off the cuff or rather without any kind of tracing involved and just let the tattooist do their thing, this can lead to some beautiful unique designs.
Traditional Maori warriors would often be covered head to toe in tribal tattoos. Not only would they instill fear in to their opponent that they were going to battle against but they could also be used to remember certain stories or tales in their culture as well as mark warriors rank of their own life story.
Modernized tribal design
Many artists have come up with their variations, with the help of their customers, of Maori’esque tattoos – giving some interesting twists to the basic design concept. This may include a broader scope of elements such as different colors and cultural symbols.
A little light thrown on the Maori culture will help you understand the significance and symbolism of these tattoo designs. In fact the very art of tattooing is deeply embedded in the Maori culture. Both the men and women in the tribe would get tattooed and not merely for the look of it but for different purposes. Each tattoo carried a life legend, had something to say and had deep meaning to the person getting it.
Modern tribal tattoo
Today, it’s not just people with Maori origins that will get Maori themed tribal tattoos. Because of their mass appeal and cool patterns many people will simply get them because of their aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Some tribal designs will take elements of different cultures all over the world, including the Aztec culture which is common place in tattoos and often will have cool symbols such as the sun and moon incorporated.
In the Maori culture, the original tattoo technique requires cutting into the skin rather than inking the top surface layers. The use of ancient tools and bones was dominant in the process of tattooing. As such, the Maori tradition and method has been documented as one of the oldest techniques in the world. This has created millions of cultural tribal designs that are still utilized today.
Tribal nose tattoo
Unfortunately a lot of people will associate face tattoos with the person been a gang member of some kind. In actual fact having your whole face tattooed has deep meaning and significance in Maori culture.
Female back tattoo
Here is a good example of modernized tribal tattoo that goes across a females back. Most of the symbols will represent something even if a lot of people simply pick them because they look cool these days. Tribal tattoos can also be just used as an overall theme or ‘blue print’ for you to get a lot of symbols or patterns that you like incorporated in to a good looking tattoo.