Are you looking for great Maori Tattoo ideas? We have collected the most beautiful Maori tattoos and for that reason we recommend you to take a look at our pictures.
Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand – Tangata whenua (“people of the land”). These people feel strongly connected to nature – not by chance there are so many Maori tattoo motifs depicting various wild animals. Today, the Maori tattoos are engraved rather for visual reasons, because they look very beautiful.
Sketch with a Maori tattoo
Below are some of the Maori tattoo designs:
- Turtle – this animal plays a very important role in Maori culture. This tattoo motif stands as a symbol not only for luck, but also for great stamina. As a tattoo, the turtles stand for a long life and great power. After mating in the open sea, the females find their birth beach and lay their eggs there. For this reason, such Maori tattoos symbolize as a guide for their wearers. People with such turtle tattoos are able to find their way home easier. Tangata whenua believe that the sea turtles navigate the souls of the drowned safely through the ocean.
- Dolphin – the dolphin is also a popular Maori tattoo motif. It should be noted that the ocean actually has a great importance in Maori culture. That’s one of the reasons why so many marine animals are highly respected. The dolphin is no exception. Such a tattoo is usually a symbol of harmony. A Maori tattoo with a dolphin has the task to give his wearer protection and strength. We recommend that you take a look at our article on dolphin pictures .
- Whale – The whales are characterized by their size and their intelligence and it is not surprising that they have a high status in the mythology of Tangata whenua. They are the children of the sea god Tangaroa. Legend has it that Paikea – the ancestor of the Maori, reached the coast of New Zealand with the help of a whale. Actually, he was first born with the name Kahutia-te-rangi. When his canoe sank, he was rescued by a large herd of wolves, and so he got his new name Paikea (humpback whale – in the language of Tangata whenua).
The legend of Paikea became part of the movie “Whale Rider”
A Maori tattoo can be combined with different motifs. Here are some of the Maori tattoo designs:
- Skate – a Maori tattoo of this marine animal is also a symbol of strength.
- Shark – still a popular tattoo motif in Maori culture.
- Niho Mano – shark teeth in the Maori language. It should be noted that most Maori tattoos are characterized by their Niho Mano. This tattoo motif also symbonomizes the strength.
- Sun and sunbeams – these Maori tattoo motifs symbolize the rebirth.
- Taniwha – the Taniwha are mythical creatures in Maori mythology. According to the legends, they can transform into various animals – dragons, snakes and large lizards. The Taniwha usually hide in the oceans, rivers, lakes and caves. These creatures kidnap Maori women and kill people, but they are still honored by the Maori. Because Taniwha are considered as a link between the life of humans and the world of their own gods.
Maori tattoo with a ray
The Maori tattoos could be combined with other motifs
Maori tattoo with a ray and a small turtle – one of our favorite ideas for Maori tattoo
Idea for a Maori tattoo, which the men might like very much
Beautiful Maori tattoo with two Maori tattoo motifs – a turtle and sun
Maori tattoos with sea animals
Unique tattoo with Maori motifs
Another idea for a Maori tattoo for men with a turtle and a taniwha
Maori tattoo with different animals
Turtles play an important role in Maori culture
Beautiful Maori tattoo with a dolphin
Another great Maori tattoo for men
Below we show you some tattoos with turtles and rays
Beautiful Maori tattoos with turtles
Maori tattoos with shark teeth
Tattoos with different Maori motifs