Maori Tattoo Designs and the Importance of Preserving Their Culture

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Maori Tattoo Designs and the Importance of Preserving Their Culture

 

Maori Girl with Chin Tattoo

Photo by QuinnDombrowski

While most tattoos are chosen due to their deeper meanings and to the significance that they have to the wearer, there are many tattoos that are worn only for their aesthetic values. If you are considering getting a Maori tattoo design, it is critical that you understand the history behind it before moving forward. Before buying a Maori tattoo, you must understand not only its symbols, but also its history and meaning so that you do not offend the Maori people. With some background knowledge on the history of these tattoo designs, you will be able to decide whether a Maori tattoo is one you are interested in, as well as how to get Maori tattoo designs while still respecting the Maori culture.

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The Maori culture has a distinct look and they also used to place their tattoos in more specific places. Maori tattoos are not made of a large number of symbols, but they hold very deep meaning. These tattoos consist mostly of spirals, curves and bold ink. These tattoos are known for being placed on the face. In this culture, women primarily get these tattoos on their chin and lips. Men get this tattoo on the majority of their face as well as their buttocks. These tattoo placements are important to the Maori culture.

The Maori tattoos hold much significance in their culture and it is important that you respect their tattoos and are careful when you choose Maori tattoo designs of your own or else you will insult them. To the Maori people, the tattoos area symbol of status and courage. The tattoos are added onto on a continual basis. The more tattoos you have, often the higher your status. The tattooing process is so sacred that the Maori people have an entire ritual around it that includes singing and chanting amongst other ceremonial activities. This is why it is extremely important that you take the appropriate action to ensure that you do not insult the Maoris when you get a Maori tattoo.

 

Man shows Maori Tattoos on Arms

Photo by micaeltattoo

To avoid offending the Maori’s, after doing some research consider reaching out to them and asking them how you may incorporate their symbolism into your tattoo without offending them. In doing so, you will have gained respect from the Maori people and possibly created friends with those of their culture. They should be able to provide you with some suggestions on how you can get a Maori tattoo without offending them. Another thing you can do is to talk to your tattoo artist about your interest in getting Maori tattoo designs. Your tattoo artist can help you incorporate the Maori tattoo look without actually including their symbolism. This way you can have the look of the Maori tattoo without misrepresenting the symbols that they hold sacred.

While tattooing has certainly changed over the years, the Maori importance to their tattoo symbolism still holds strong. Like with other cultural tattoos such as Celtic tattoos and tribal tattoos, it is important to understand research and understand the history and true significance of your tattoo so that you can respect it. With the Maori tattoos, it is that much more important to understand the meaning behind the markings. The Maori’s do not get tattoos for purely aesthetic value. Their tattoos are earned through displays of courage and strength and the tattooing process is very painful and involves chiseling the tattoos into their skin. It is a serious and sacred matter for them. By understanding their culture, taking that into account and respecting it before making your tattoo design, you can get a tattoo that you find interesting while still respecting the history behind it.

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