How to Interpret the Maori Tattoo

Maori Tattoo
Maori Tattoo

How to Interpret the Maori Tattoo

The Maori Tattoo is also known as the Ta Moko. This is the custom of treating the skin with care and not just wantling, which is frequently done in the in-painting process. However, the people of Maori put these markings on the head, face and other portions of their body with great respect. They believe that tattoos bring good luck and protection from all evil forces, thus making the mark more of an art than a mere marking.

Maori Tattoo
Maori Tattoo


The Maori have many legends and myths associated with the Ta Moko, but one of the most significant is the idea that it represents the spirits of ancestors that once lived on the earth. The tattoos are often put on the back of the head and shoulders so that they are also visible when the person moves around. However, the exact meaning of the Maori Tattoo is not easily understood by modern people because it has many symbols that seem to mean nothing more than what we today call good luck.


Many modern people think that the Ta Moko is a symbol of good fortune. They say that if you get a tattoo of a ta Moko it tells you that you are about to have a child. But, the actual meaning is much more ancient and goes deeper than this. The Maori design was actually a form of religious meditation used to ward away evil spirits or to ward off hunger and illness.


Another interesting part of the story of the ta Moko is that it is often used to ward off enemies. According to legend, the first white man to settle in New Zealand was Cook himself. He chose the place that now houses the national museum of art because it was there that he received the strongest kites form an angry bird. He then had the kites tattooed onto his body to keep them safe from evil spirits. So, it could be that the Maori tattoos are really a way of using the god’s symbol to ward off enemies.


In recent years, there has been an increase in Maori tattoo art work

It seems that the move to ink their bodies has made the meaning of their traditional tattoos much clearer. Some of the meanings have become synonymous with specific cultures and countries. For instance, the Maori tattoo of the shamrock is said to protect the wearer from harm, health and wealth. This means that a new Zealand tattoo can have all kinds of different meanings depending on where you place it on your body.


Maori people were well known for their creativity in song and dance. Their songs and dances are still preserved in their traditional cultural context, which means that the symbols and ways of symbolism used in tattoos were designed with the melody in mind. An example would be that the Maori tribal symbol for courage is a spiked collar with a single spike coming off the top of the collar bone. The symbol is meant to represent the fighter spirit of the individual.


Samoans often use their Maori tribal tattoos for more general purposes such as to ward off evil spirits or to bring good luck. One of the most common uses has to do with the sun. The sun can be viewed as a representative of light, hope and happiness. That is why Samoans often place their names on their shoulders with the sun as its symbolic representation.


Maori tribal tattoos can mean so many things. The meaning of these designs should not be forced by those who wish to use them for cultural reasons. In most cases, one should respect the culture of the Maori people in order to fully understand their design meanings. No one should force their own ideas on others, after all.


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