‘Ta mako’ or Maori tattoo is a traditional needle marking on the face and body by Maori people. These tattoos are an amalgamation of tradition, respect, and commitment to the ancestral culture. It is a very integral part of the Maori people. With the rise of globalization, when people are opting for the modern concept, there is a significant rejuvenation of Mako tattoo. It is conventional for men to wear a tattoo on their bodies, especially on buttocks, thighs, arms, and face. On the other hand, women traditionally wear a moko on their chin and lips.
Maori tattoo is performed by a traditional tattoo artist, tohunga ta moko. And this ritual is considered to be sacred or a tapu. Each of the tattoos bears some messages, like information about the wearer, tribes, beliefs and even social status. So, a Maori tattoo is just not some scribbling but like a story to be heard off. The chisel used to make this beautiful Maori tattoos is made of Albatross bone, shark teeth or sharp stone. This chisel can be found in two varieties — one with a straight edge and another one with a jagged edge. Though some have started to use modern tools to draw the tattoo, others still prefer the ancient technique. Even the ink is also made of natural resources, like burnt wood, etc. It’s said that ta mako or Maori tattoo came from the underworld. A love affair between a man and a princess of the underworld brought this tattoo to this world. Yes, that’s an interesting story to hear.
1. Full sleeve Maori tattoo
Full sleeve tattoo designs are very popular among Maori people. It’s very ancient and gives the wearer a sense of masculinity, strength, courage, and responsibilities. This design is an amalgamation of Pakati, Hikuaua and Ahu Ahu Mataroa. Each represents abundance, prosperity, good health, sportsmanship, talent, and achievements. This very intriguing design demands time, patients, strong will and an expert artist to execute. This tattoo design can be very painful and costly as well. The artist may charge a per hour basis. It may take several days to complete also. Unless you are sure to carry such intricate details, one may rethink it. The aftercare of the tattoo should be observed as it is exposed to all weather conditions.
2. Hei Tiki Maori tattoo
This tattoo called Hei Tiki, which symbolizes good luck, fertility and wearer’s strength of character. This half sleeve shoulder tattoo with the face of God and different elements of tradition is very interesting & appealing. The symmetry of the face intricate designs and the black color make the tattoo very vibrant and eye-catching. Though making it on the shoulder could be painful but you can easily hide it from sunburn and flaunt it whenever you want. In this style, one can opt for different varieties, like less detailing, fine lines and no filling of color, thus making it less painful as well as won’t make a hole in your pocket.
3. Elementary band Maori tattoo
The beautiful four elements of tattoo designs are so enigmatic that it reconnects the wearer with nature. It indicates the equilibrium between the elements and the human. The colorful band look of the tattoo is a combination of four different tattoos, each represents an element. The uppermost band shows wind, followed by water, earth, and fire. It also represents the views of the coexistence of nature and humans and drawing positive energy from these elements. The design, Nga Hau E Wha not only a tattoo but a strong belief which applies to all mankind. Making the tattoo a colorful one may cost you a bit more. As it is in your sleeves, it will be protected from harsh weather conditions.
4. Ankle Maori tattoo
It is a cute ankle tattoo, especially for women. The leaf-like shape is chained together giving a sense of togetherness. The band looks with an extra tire with chandelier design makes it more feminine. Unaunahi pattern-Fish scales that represent abundance and health. Though it doesn’t demand vivid detailing or coloring, still it could be painful because of its placing. This tattoo makes will not much time to finish either and won’t burn your pocket. This tattoo is in a better position, as it would be covered mostly. But as it is nearer to feet, be careful of stomping in mud or dirt.
5. Feather Maori tattoo
Feather tattoo designs are very popular in the tattoo world. Maoris represents the various characteristics of birds. It conveys the message of freedom, strength, and courage. It also seeks the blessings of celestial bodies. Here the feather tattoo is expressing a more feminine look with the interesting extension of dots, lines, and band. It is a perfect piece to have on your forearm. You can opt for a classic feather tattoo design too. As it is on your forearm, it may get maximum sun exposure. Therefore, you are advised to take care of and safeguard your self from skin irritation and rashes.
6. Geometric Maori tattoo
This very masculine band look tattoo design shows the strength and courage of the person. Both the forearms bear two different styles in the middle portion, whereas the rest of the designs remain the same. The middle portion has some geometric patterns with minute details. This tattoo covers your forearm almost entirely. The thick band shows the power and energy, it possesses. This may take several hours or even a few days to complete. It would cost you more and need great aftercare. It is very traditional yet elegant and sassy.
7. Band Maori tattoo on wrist
A classic thick three-tier band looks Maori tattoo is just so apt for your forearm to flaunt. The bottom tier curved with a leaf-like pattern, which makes it gracious and artistic as well. This tattoo’s design implicates the idea of women’s power & compassion and constant effort to keep things together to strike a balance. This symmetrical design needs lots of patients to be inked as well as strength. As it’s in your forearm, you can show it off anytime but need to take care of the heat and any harsh conditions.
8. Pair line Maori tattoo
Three line forearm tattoo has immense possibilities to explore. One can add simple designs and patterns to make it more artistic and stylish. Adding colors or giving shades is another way of making it better. But even if you carry on these three lines band tattoo, it may depict wearer’s significance to people, period of time and events. It could be a symbol of individual choice and what matters to them most. These lines are the most simple ones, thus, neither will be too painful nor will cost you much. Even aftercare is also very minimalistic.
9. Bracelet Maori tattoo
This thread bangle bracelet designs of tattoo have derived from the earlier design of three simple line tattoo. The first tier is thin, while the second one is much broader and the in-between gap is less. While the third tier is much thicker and with an extended design. The design is geometrical with a sphere head symbol. Here the gap between two and three lines is a little wider. These designs can represent your beliefs and practices. Love, faith, hope, and courage. It may also represent the wearer’s thought of being self, family, and connection with nature. Though it looks simple but would take a long time and little extra money. The inner forearm area would hurt a bit too in the process.
10. Modern Maori tattoo
The faded wrist band tattoo is a newer trend. It looks more like a painted one. In earlier times a Maori wrist tattoo used to symbolize the strength of spiritual energy. Here basically it has derived from the line tattoo ideas. But what makes it interesting is the watercolor paintbrush smudge look. As the top layer, you can see, it gives a feeling of end. As if things were there but now all gone. It bears a striking resemblance to nature’s way of undoing the creation. Though it may give a negative impact, it is very real and fascinating. The inner wrist area can be a bit painful as it is very soft and tender. Also, you have to be careful of the tattoo, for heat, sunburn or chemical substances.
This way you can design your tattoos by adding your vision and style to Maori tattoos to embellish an individual design that fits your personality.
Getting a tattoo is a kind of serious affair, so choose wisely. It won’t be wont to say it is like getting married. If you choose the right design, it might end with a lifetime of happiness. Don’t even think about getting it removed. Instead, stick to it and flaunt it all the time. Covering your tattoo, later on, isn’t worth it and so take the time to carefully consider your decision first. I hope the above designs will give you a better idea and with the following tattoo designs with its meaning and message, you will end up having an amazing tattoo experience.