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Tattoo of Maori half sleeve

Birth of an angel

by GiErre »
2008, Jun 25th
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This Maori styled half sleeve has a complex symbology, which wants to tell how the death of a dear one does not mean separation. The bond that makes this person dear to us, when strong, goes on in our life, under the protection of a new angel. We used two sea turtles to represent family´s affections: one remains, surrounded by korus, which indicate a new birth, life goin´ on beyond the individual, and the other one leaves for a voyage sustained by two te manaia, the Maori guardian angels, creatures which, having the head of a bird, body of a man and tail of a fish, represent the balance between air, earth and water. The shark teeth on the bigger turtle shell symbolize strength for those who remain, and the stylized lizard represents a link with the spiritual world. The tiki on the small turtle shell is a symbol of protection. The two turtles are surrounded by a twist, which symbolizes eternal union.

From a request by Simone.

A curiosity: "manaia", literally, is the seahorse.

The Polynesian Tattoo Handbook 1 & 2 by TattooTribes
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finally the book to understand and create Polynesian tattoos!

I have skimmed through the book and become so very interested in the contents... Very good and suitable for a self-education in Tattoo-ology! - Anne, London

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