Maori Tattoos: Tattoos That Really Mean Something

Do you really want to go tribal? Are you tired of the same old tattoo designs with no real meaning behind them? Then Maori tattoos are the ticket to getting to tribal roots that really mean something. The Maoris are a tribe in New Zealand that have been using tattoos for generations that are deep in meaning and a part of their culture. The tattoos are no just body art but a part of something bigger. Each tattoo represents something about the life of the wearer and where that tattoo is placed can represent growth, life, of status.

Maori Tattoo ImageThe traditional Maori Tattoos were not applied with needles, but instead small chisels were used that left grooves in the skin. When the tattoos were applied, it was considered a sacred and spiritual ceremony. The tattoos were no randomly placed, but were placed in certain areas to represent a stage in life. It was believed that when a Maori died, the tattoos would be an identification tool in the afterlife. Each line meant something that they achieved in life and the right placement and design of the tattoo meant that the person has achieved status in life.

Gender played a big factor when it came Maori tattoos. Women only received the tattoos on their lips or their chin. The men had tattoos on their face, buttocks, and thighs. If a person did not have a tattoo, they were looked down upon by the other Maori and even shunned in some villages. The tattoo was life and without a tattoo, a person would be lonely as they wondered through life and the afterlife. This gave the people the ambition to do something noteworthy so that they would achieve some kind of status. The status during life transcended to status in the afterlife.

In most tattoo shops, the Maori tattoos are ‘inspired’ tattoos. That means that the work will be done by needle and not by chisel. The meaning behind the tattoo may be lost and what you will get is a tattoo that looks like the original, but without the ceremony and spirituality, it will hold meaning only in the imagination of the wearer. The designs are far superior to the run of the mill tribal tattoo that was popular in the nineties because it still hold the mystery and mystique of the original.

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