Tattoo ideas

We especially like these Maori tattoos for a woman!

Maori tattoos back jagged flowers geometric Hawaii

Maori – the indigenous people of New Zealand and the islands of Polynesia, are known for their rich traditions. The art of creating unique tattoos is one of the many facets of this ancient people’s cultural heritage. In Maori’s opinion, nobody can take his moco (his tattoo) away from a person. Maori tattoos are symbolic signs that can become a kind of calling card for their wearer. They can symbolize parting words or a motto in life, give protection or reflect character.

Maori tattoos are more than just body jewelry

Maorie tattoos women back tiki mask face

Typical of Maori tattoos are curved lines, spirals and other geometric shapes that together form an intricate pattern. According to research, a tā moko tells the life story of its owner, reveals its character and also has a deeper mystical meaning. The tattoo on the face gave information about the social status of the wearer, his wealth or his military position. Roughly speaking, Maori used a tattoo as an identity card. Inconsistency of the tattoo with the real status could even lead to the death of the owner.

Maori tattoos Polynesian women frangipani back clavicle

Notable men, warriors and hunters of the Polynesian peoples wore the tattoos not only on their faces, but also on their thighs, calves and on their backs and buttocks. In contrast, women only wore the tattoo on the chin, on the lips and less often on the forehead, back and thighs.

Much later, in the middle of the 19th century, Maori traditions were brought to Europe by seafarers – so this ancient art gradually spread all over the world. Maori tattoos are popular with both men and women today and look very attractive. In this article we have put together some interesting symbols for you that are particularly suitable for women.

Maorie tattoo woman frangipani flower motifs waves jagged chest shoulder

The difference between ‘kirituhi’ and ‘moko’

All moko is sacred and it is strictly reserved for Māoris only. Moko is about 99% culture and 1% tattoo. If either the recipient or the tattooist is not a Māori, then the result is a Maori style tattoo or a kirituhi, NOT Moko. Kirituhi is a Māori-style tattoo either done by a non-Māori tattoo artist or made for a non-Māori wearer.

Kirituhi is a tattoo design that tells the wearer’s unique story using stylistic elements from Māori art. Kiri means “skin” and Tuhi means “write, draw, record, adorn or decorate with painting”. Kirituhi is a way for New Zealand indigenous people to respectfully share this ancient art form with people from all over the world.

Maorie tattoo woman oozing leg spikes Polynesian motifs

All Maori tattoos consist of a number of essential design elements: Manuah, Koru and fill patterns. The main lines are called “Manuah”. MANUAH is the Maori word for “heart” and represents your life, your journey through life and your time on earth. The Korus then branch off from the Manuah lines. Each koru in a tattoo symbolizes a loved one. The different fill patterns complete the tattoo.

Different fill patterns in Maori tattoos and their meaning

Maori symbols tattoos lines meaning

Maori tattoos fascinate with their intricate patterns. They show impressive details that are not only very decorative, but also represent different meanings. The most famous characters include Pakati, Hikuaua, Unaunahi, Ahu Ahu Mataroa and Taratarekae.

Maori symbols that are perfect as tattoos

Maori symbols small tattoos meaning women

Pikorua – The Twist Symbol

The Pikorua symbol is a representation of life and the journey of life. It is believed that we all go different paths in life and although there are many different curves, they all lead us to the same place.

Pikorua symbol Polynesian Maori love friendship loyalty

The twist symbol with a single twist represents the path of life and is also considered a sign of infinity. The double or triple turns represent the powerful bond between two people or two cultures for eternity. Despite all the difficulties, they remain forever connected through friendship and loyalty. Some tribes believed it was Papatuanuku and Tangaroa – mother earth and her son, the god of the sea.

Koru Spirale – A sign of a life in harmony

Koru spiral magnolia branch arm tattoo

The koru symbol represents the unrolling frond of the silver fern. New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful ferns in the world. Symbolically, it stands for new life, new beginnings and the unfolding of a person’s life path. Each koru in a tattoo symbolizes a loved one – mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, siblings, friends, family, and so on. Koru can also be wonderfully combined with other motifs.

Koru spiral symbol combined with turtle and dolphin

Hei Matau (fish hook)

Maorie tattoo woman back neck fish hook strength willpower

Hei Matau, better known as the fish hook, shows the Maori strong bond with their sea god. The Hei Matau tattoo wearer is seen as a provider and protector who is strong-willed and determined to succeed in life.


Maorie tattoo leg woman ribbon tribals manaia protection motif

Manaia is known as a spiritual guardian and bearer of supernatural powers. Traditionally, he is depicted as a bird-like figure – with the head of a bird, the body of a man and the tail of a fish. For the Maori he is the guardian of the balance between heaven, earth and water.

Manaia guardian lizard template Maori tattoo

Rihanna’s Maori tattoo

Rihanna Maorie tattoo wrist spirals motifs

In 2008 Rihanna showed off her new tattoo on her right wrist. She got the Maori-inspired geometric design in New Zealand and explained, “It’s tribal and represents strength and love. I always wanted one, but it hurt like hell! ”The traditional Maori process is a painful process because grooves are carved into the skin with a chisel (uhi).

Maorie tattoo hand woman tribal flowers wave

The kirituhi of the RnB singer Kehlani 

Kehlani Maorie Tattoo Woman Wrist Tribal

In 2017, the US singer Kehlani showed her new Kirituhi on Instagram. The tattoo design represents her family. There are 6 Koru that symbolize their siblings – unfortunately 2 of them are no longer alive. The 2 Mangopare / Hammerhead Sharks represent strength, leadership, agility, tenacity, relentless determination and courage.

Maori Tattoo Kirituhi Wrist Koru Spirals

What is behind symbols like the turtle, the lizard or the sun? Familiarize yourself with the meaning of each Polynesian motif and you can put together your own unique Maori tattoo. Browse through our picture gallery and be inspired for your next tattoo! A Maorie tattoo can also look very delicate and be perfect for a woman.

Maorie tattoo woman back sun turtle whale tribal

Maori tattoo woman arm bracelet tiki symbols meaning

Turtle Maorie tattoo foot woman symbols

Maorie tattoos turtle tribals women frangipani flowers

Maorie tattoos turtle women meaning longevity wisdom

Maorie Tatoos women shoulder hibiscus flowers turtle lines

Maorie tattoos frangipani flowers love back shoulder

Maorie tattoos woman ribs belly hips lines dolphine gecko

Maorie tattoos women leg hip sun gecko shark

Maorie tattoos women leg sun turtle

Maorie tattoos women foot gecko shark tribal lines

Maorie tattoos women neck tribals behind the ear

Maorie tattoos hibiscus flowers pakati lines delicate beauty

Maorie tattoos stingray women back turtle

Polynesian tattoos women back upper arm

Polynesian tattoos Maori back women spine

Polynesian tattoos Maorie Rochen Tribals

Tattoo tribals women motif manta ray symbol of strength and assertiveness

Tribal tattoos Maori Polynesian lines back neck