Tribal tattoos have always been a pretty popular design choice but has gained more exposure in the last few years since the various forms of tribal have been more widely showcased. 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 as traditionally, Maori are made in black ink. The size could vary depending on the design and the location of the Maori tribal design.
Many artists have come up with their variations, with the help of their customers, of Maori 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.
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.
While today, people do not need a rhyme or reason to get a Maori tribal tattoo, in ancient culture, these cultures started when a person entered young adulthood and at various milestones in their adulthood. Tattooing was part of their ritual and depicted the individual status and achievements about the person. Typical Maori tattoos are made up of curves and spirals arranged in complex designs. Sometimes a number of small components would compose a larger design.
Just as today’s tattoo designs, each gender preferred different places for their tattoo. For example men would traditionally get tattoos on their legs, buttocks and face – while women would often get tattoos on their lips, neck, chin and back. Maoris who reside in New Zealand had a festival known as Ta Moka. The process of tattooing and the whole ritual was almost a part of their lives and culture and as essential as the basic necessities of life.
Nowadays, most Maori tattoos are done on the arms and usually as sleeves. Though people opt for Maori tribal designs, they tend to stay away from traditional designs that can be more painful due to the detail. Even the traditional pigments of soot and ash which were filled into the carved skin are also avoided.
When researching your options for a Maori tribal tattoo, you should remember that these tattoos were very important to the Maoris and therefore deserving of respect too. Ensure that the cultural integrity of the tattoo design remains intact. Some things like the location of the tattoo on the arm instead of the face can be overlooked when you keep the other elements intact.
It is vital that you do your research and ponder on this design before going in for the tattoo. The thing is that what the tattoo design actually means could be different from the symbolism that it holds for you before getting one. Since it has a lot of cultural importance to the Maori people do ensure that you do not go for this tattoo design in a flippant manner. Apart researching the actual design and the color scheme you do need to understand all the ramifications of a Maori design for your tattoo. Once you have decided then you can go ahead and get the tattoo done and enjoy all the admiration.
Some more examples of Unique Maori Tribal Tattoo Designs are also shown below: