Maori tattooing is a distinct school of patterns and graphic designs within Polynesian tattooing. While much of Polynesian tattooing is derived from straight-line geometric patterns (and thought to originate with patterns found on ancient Lapita pottery shards such as have been discovered in Samoa), a design fact which rose in part because the traditional Polynesian tattoo combs are best suited to linear designs, Maori tattooing is essentially curvilinear, and the mainstay of Maori designs are based on the spiral. It should be noted that renowned traditional Hawaiian artist Keone Nunes has demonstrated that it is possible to reproduce complex curved designs using traditional Polynesian tattooing implements.
Maori tattooing is distinguished by the use of bold lines and the repetition of specific design motifs that are prominent both in the tattooing or "moko" of the Maori people of New Zealand and within other cultural artworks suck as carving and weaving. A traditional Maori tattoo artist -- the tohunga ta moko -- could produce two different types of pattern: that based on a pigmented line, and another, the puhoro, based on darkening the background and leaving the pattern unpigmented; as clear skin. Within Maori facial tattoos it is possible to discern two spiral patterns very similar to the fern frond, or koru, that is a repeating motif common to Maori art, including tattooing or "moko", painting and carving, in both wood, bone and greenstone.
Below you will find a gallery of inspirational images that will help you in your quest of creating the perfect maori tattoo.
Also Check out: Tribal Tattoos