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Spiritual Maori tattoos meaning with traditional symbols

Maori tattoos :-  Maori tattoos are created by Maori tribal people of New Zealand. Initially these tattoos were called Ta Moko. Maori tribal tattoo were initially famous among males slowly it makes its place in woman tattoos. Traditionally these tribal tattoos were inked only in blank ink.

Maori tattoos

Maori tribal tattoo showcase the culture and heritage of people of Maori tribe. They were very famous among Maori warriors who were covered from head to toe with Maori tattoos. Theme of future and past is depicted through tattoos.

Maori tattoos

Maori tattoos symbols are also used in art work. These symbols are all linked together. They present a story through symbols. They are six very popular symbolic designs in Pounamu carving. They are

  • Koru
  • Twist,
  • Tiki,
  • Toki blades,
  • Manaia and
  • Fish hook.

Each symbol has a definite meaning behind it.

1. Koru

Koru is symbol of growth, re-generation and  re-birth. In art works Koru is a symbol for parenthood and ancestry.

Maori tattoo on back

It also has human body parts like head, eye, neck, tail and body. The spiral sign of Koru also symbolize the ferns of New Zealand.

2. Twist

Twist is also called Pikorua in native language of New Zealand. This symbol depicts strong bond and path of life. It represents Strong bond between family members and between two lovers. Majorly it is a presents of loyalty and lifelong relations with its twisted arms.

Maori tattoos

There is no starting and end on the twist. Tattoo in pikorua has single coiling or multiple twists. Circle sign is also part of it. it depicts life circle.

3. The Toki blade :- A symbol of Maori traditional Tattoos

The Toki blade is a symbol of strength, wisdom and power. Traditional tattoo in ‘Maori tattoos’ society This toki blades were used in the tool. They were not the adornment.

Maori tattoos

Nowadays even the necklaces with Toki blade are worn. In ancient times they were used to cut trees and for carving. Toki is also known as Adze.

4. The Manaia

The Manaia symbolizes guardian angel and messenger. This messenger established the link between life and dead. Tattoo designs with head of bird, body of man and tail of a fish is the traditional symbol for Manaia.

Manaia Maori tattoos

The Manaia is symbolizes the personal guardian which protect the person from evil forces. Tattoo artist have made many changes in this Traditional symbol. According to Maori myth it carries the supernatural powers.

5. The Tiki :-Maori tattoos

The Tiki symbolizes the first man of Maori tribe in Maori myth. Today, these Tiki tattoo express some characters of the wearer. It presents the first mortal born. It is a symbol of fertility and positivity.

The Tiki Maori tattoos

Tiki provides the clarity of thought to the wearer and inner knowledge.

6. The fish hook

The fish hook tattoo is symbol of safe sea journey and prosperity. These Maori tattoo design cleverly incorporates both image of fish and fish hook in one tattoo design. This symbol is connected with Sea god, Tangaroa.

The fish hook Maori tattoos

In the “Maori tattoos” myth there is depicts of magical fish hook. This magical fish hook was carved from jawbone of Maui’s grandmother. It helps to pull up North Island of New Zealand from the ocean. It was pulled in the form of big fish. Fish hook is also called Hei Matau. It also present the unborn human embryo.


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