Top 93 Maori Tattoo Ideas [2021 Inspiration Guide]
Tā moko, aka the traditional body art of the indigenous people of New Zealand. The taonga, or treasure, holds a special meaning for each individual bearing ink.
Originally, the Moko gave insight to a man’s tribal affiliation and social ranking.
Every shape, pattern and symbol told a story of his unique background and offered an insightful connection to his integrity and whakapapa. However, what you see today isn’t always a precise representation of the past.
Around the 20th century (or 1990 to be more specific), Ta moko experienced a rival in popularity and many styles began to mix traditional bases with more modern touches. As for the meaning behind this ink style, it also shifted to become more of an expression of integrity and cultural pride.
Not to mention, outside of the tribal culture it’s quite difficult to spot a true facial moko. While intimidating to some, the head was considered to be the most scared part of the body. Just like in today’s society, it’s a permanent, undeniable declaration of a man that can’t be concealed.
Of course, there’s always the difference between the process of using uhi (chisels) and the modern tattoo machines of today.
Regardless, go ahead and explore these top 90 best Maori tattoo designs for men below. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by in the integrity of this ink style and discover numerous ideas of your own.
Maori Tattoo Ideas
This is a beautiful foot and ankle tattoo featuring the hallmarks of classic Maori design in its use of clear, crisp black lines and differing directional patterns.
A beautifully connected piece, with the turtle being the centrepiece of the back image and both arms. The turtle symbolizes health, longevity and for some people fertility.
This classic tribal design features black flowing lines and clever patterned bands.
Another fine version of the turtle, this one is slightly different in that the animal is at the top of the tattoo at the calf, and all the different patterns flow down from it towards the foot and heel.
The key to this piece is the beautifully sharp black line work that emphasis the edging of shapes and creates a nice sense of depth in detail.
This tattoo uses a slightly fatter kind of line work to create its patterns. It flows together more loosely than those confined within tighter shapes.
The image here shows new work being put into a Maori tattoo. This moko is eventually going to have numerous key features, such as the turtle you see outlined on the shoulder, linked together by the customary range of patterns and shapes drawn in a heavy, flat black ink. The time being put into this work will make for a beautifully realized vision when completed.
This is a nice, crisp Maori style biceps tattoo, which should lead to a bigger interconnected work down the track. You’ll find the connected hatches and almost full diamond linked patterns in a lot of Polynesian tattoos. This piece uses negative space in combination with black ink to create emphasis on the different patterns.
This is the rare Maori style tattoo that uses color. The usual black is in there, but there is a layer of blue wending its way through the image through that is quite unique – it’s rather jarring to see to be honest.
The ocean blue color in this tattoo is eye catching, working well with the design elements to make this smaller Maori tattoo highly detailed.
The half sleeve of this image has the black face of a god (or a Mexican wrestler) as its central point, then uses a variety of tight line drawing to create the rest of the Moko pattern.
This is a hectic full sleeve. The patterning and detail that’s gone in to the piece would have taken an exceptionally long time to execute, but it’s done with consummate skill. This piece is unique, in that it mixes up different elements – a central image, flat back filler, shading, and negative space – together to make the sleeve in full.
.An aged traditional tribal tattoo is being updated in this image. It’s clear the original tattoo has aged poorly – either from bad ink quality, a difficult heal, shabby artist, or all three combined. The new piece will refresh and replace the rest of the tattoo, giving it a uniform flat black application of ink.
This is classy work. The artist has applied a stylised fern and employed a couple of different colors to ink in a beautiful sleeve tattoo. The detail in the red sections shows off a mastery of moko; it can be hard to use the fill color effectively while putting similar technique into the line work doing when pieces of this kind.
Wow. To get such a degree of detail into every pattern of the work takes a bad level of skill. This half sleeve moko looks almost like filigreed steelwork, given the level of shading and color employed. This piece could have realistically taken double the time that a simpler flat black version of the same pattern would have needed for the entire sleeve. Magic skill!
Another piece of Maori traditional work acting as a cover up and stand-alone piece. Here, you can tell by the roughness of some black spots that it’s covering older tattoos. It will likely need going over again at least once more to flatten out the black detail.
This piece is small, yet crisply drawn with beautiful shading and pattern levels. It’s a lovely moko to look at.
The face in the top of this half sleeve is interesting – the symmetry of its shape makes for quit an arresting image. Another point to not is that the black fill is somewhat unusual in places, looking like a pattern was started in an area then abandoned.
This is a beautiful exploration of using flat black and negative space to create an amazing traditional tribal image. The key to the work is incorporating the numerous parts that have not been tattooed to create interesting shapes and patterns, then linking them with the forceful jet black of the inked patterns. The piece even incorporates an old tramp stamp tattoo into the new artwork. Brilliant stuff.
This is the traditional Maori tattoo version of a hectic steampunk bio-mechanical tattoo. The amount of detail to create those vertical patterns down this big unit’s spine is awe inspiring, while the flow of black line work going across his back is top drawer. You won’t come across a better designed and executed artwork on canvas or on skin.
The sinuous line work of heavy black piping makes this a nice full sleeve Maori tattoo. While aided by the filtering of this image, the artist has obviously created a very heavy black pattern throughout the piece – it’s almost visibly jagged and angry.
A bad ass three quarter sleeve Maori tattoo. The god at the top of this piece looks like he’d be up for a few beers and some surfing but would absolutely wreck you during a game of rugby and laugh about it while you picked your loose teeth up off the ground.
The lower part of this half sleeve shows off some beautiful black and gray shading, while at the top of the piece it’s a more traditional flat black pattern.
This is a good example of a Maori style Kirituhi. The shapes, patterns and ‘mana’ differ from the moko style but are still awesome.
The upper arm part of this Maori tattoo looks to be new. The older piece towards the bottom looks to have been retraced and will match up with the artwork on his right arm.
Another added on moko style tattoo. Again, like the last piece the new part has come at the top of the arm. In this artwork it’s a much different style to the bottom half of the tattoo. It’s safe to say, judging from how this piece is being developed that the artist doing the new work on the topmost part of the sleeve is the superior talent.
This piece will be epic when finished. Given the amount of detail in just the small part of tattoo completed this man will be in the chair for quite some time. The artist creating a beautiful polished steel look to the shading rather than a simple flat black pattern.
Curve meets band meets kine meets band meets curve. Throw in some excellent differing patterns within other patterns and you have a beautifully executed Maori tattoo.
It looks like this turtle moko is getting upgraded!
The patterning of this piece – especially the application of short, sharp lines to create continuity in this image is beautifully done.
Must be cold in this studio – old boy has got the goosebumps! This is a slightly different Maori tattoo in that it uses more subtlety in the shading with clear gray ink as a mainstay of the artwork. Most of these types of tattoos just engage a slightly lesser black when shading is employed.
This looks like it’s going to be a pretty difficult regeneration job. The previous work is still heavy, and there’s lots of detail in the piece.
After looking at quite a few of these Maori tattoos you can pick up when one employs an interesting pattern varying from the standard patterns. Here, the diamond heads (they like the nib of a calligraphy pen) and triangular hatches are done in a way just different enough to be noticeable.
This subject wouldn’t have enjoyed the pain thresholds needed for this three-quarter sleeve. That’s a lot of time spent being uncomfortable and at the mercy of an artist dropping heavy black ink on you for numerous hours.
This is a bad ass take on the Maori tattoo. Rather than use flat black, this piece pretty much ignores color to focus on line work in creating the patterns throughout. The traditional pattern elements are there, but the lines themselves are the focus rather than shapes to be filled in with black and shadow.
This is another perfectly executed full sleeve tattoo. It seems the very best work can effortlessly create two or three layers of color in the shading and pattern work, making the detail levels of the piece go right off the charts.
Is the Maori god in this image wearing goggles?
This unfinished Maori tattoo looks good, but the negative space seems to be an avoidance of the area rather than a part of the tattoo. It would be interesting to see if this gap is filled by focal point image or continues to be left blank.
This is an effective lower leg tattoo. The line work counteracts the flat black to create an interesting artwork.
This is a rare Maori design utilizing a flower as it’s focal point. In this tattoo, the use of different gray shades and the illusion of leather/wicker makes for quality patterning.
Okay, so this is a cool take on a Maori tattoo. The primary image is of a turtle, however there are different elements of color and shading employed. There even seems to be the visage of a female god in there’ given there are clearly a pair of feminine lips in the image.
This is a beautiful tattoo. The line work is crisp and fresh. It uses a series of narrow black lines drawn with a single needle to create beautiful patterns. This beauty is heightened by the shark motifs employed using negative space within their shaping.
Rather than opt for a cover up this piece builds on the original tattoo with sharp linework. Hopefully once the healing is complete the full piece will blend in together.
The pattern in this piece is created through effective use of negative space to alleviate the total black in the rest of his work.
Maori Tattoo FAQs
How did Maori tattooing begin?
Tattooing is common throughout the islands that make up Polynesia. However, each group of islands and peoples have their own customs, styles and traditional approaches to tattoo. The Maori tattoo technique, which is almost a cutting and scarring style of deeper grooved tattoo, is unique.
Maori tattoo – loosely described as moko – can be traced back mythological origin stories and have been passed on to the Maori from their Gods, who taught them the various types of tattoo and their significance.
English explorer Captain James Cook brought the word tattoo, which comes from the Samoan tatau, into Western culture by writing of them in his missives to the Queen, while his sailors brought back actual tattoos on the skin of their chests, arms and hands.
What is the significance of Ta Moko?
Ta moko is a central facet of Maori culture and an outward visual expression of commitment, respect, and honor. It is the traditional permanent marking of the body and face by Maori with chisel and sharp implement to leave the skin with textured, colored grooves rather than the smooth surface of a normal tattoo.
A facial Ta moko is the ultimate statement of identity in Maori culture, because the head is believed to be the most sacred part of the body. Through wearing the moko on your face you make a visually recognizable declaration of who you are and a constant reminder to the significance of Maori culture on your own identity.
Non-Maori are not allowed to get Ta moko. However, Kirituhi is a Maori style tattoo either made by non-Maori tattooists or made for non-Maori subjects. Kirituhi has its own spirit (mana) and tells the story of its bearer in the Maori visual language.
The Best 20 Leather Jackets for Men in 2021
With the winter months (hopefully) dwindling down, it’s time to start planning ahead to a time where we can wear thinner jackets and fewer layers. While it may be tempting to quickly shed your parka and grab for whatever piece of outerwear is nearby, don’t reach for last year’s wardrobe item just yet. Isn’t it time you try something new, like, say, a leather jacket?
Though it may seem all leather jackets are similar, there are actually many different designs and styles that work for different body types and tastes. In this article, we will take a look at the hottest leather jacket trends that have hit the market this season.
1. Ionic Black Leather Jacket
Ionic Black Leather Jacket from The Jacket Maker is an excellent choice for any guy looking for a slim and sleek jacket in a classic black finish.
It’s made with incredibly tough, yet soft, sheepskin leather, making it a great choice for guys that aren’t used to wearing leather jackets.
One of the best things about the Ionic is its streamlined look. While it offers four outside pockets, the zippers are subtle, so they don’t detract from the sleek look. This design gives it a more streamlined look than most leather jackets, without taking away from any of the authenticity.
2. Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
There is a reason why leather jackets and bikers are usually associated with one another. Historically, many motorcycle riders have seen a leather jacket as a stylish way to protect themselves, not only from the elements but also from the possibility of a crash. While this may seem hard to believe – it’s not like leather comes with a large amount of padding, after all – leather has actually been shown to offer more protection than your average vinyl jacket or equivalent.
Maybe you’re not hopping on a motorcycle anytime soon, but you can still treat yourself to this biker-inspired Saint Laurent leather jacket. With a price tag surpassing $5,000, it’s certainly our premium pick on this list, but if you’re looking for the leather jacket of a lifetime, you have it right here. This pick is sure to come with the “for life” quality Saint Laurent is particularly known for.
3. Reiss Keith Leather Cafe Racer Jacket
Reiss is a British fashion retailer that’s been around since the 1970s. For the first 30 years of its brand history, it focused solely on men’s fashion before eventually expanding to carry items for women as well. However, the fact high-quality items for men are at the heart of this brand is very apparent through their simple wardrobe staples such as the Keith leather cafe racer jacket.
This Reiss jacket comes at a considerably lower price point than its counterparts, which makes it a pick that packs a lot of value. It’s made from super-soft leather and features a full lining. It’s the perfect choice for anybody who prefers a slim-fit jacket.
4. Dean Brown Leather Biker Jacket
Let’s be honest… A traditional racing-style biker jacket is about as cool as it gets. With the high band-style collar and heavy-duty zippers on the front of The Jacket Maker’s Dean Brown Leather Biker Jacket, you’re sure to get that badass look.
The Dean is made with 100% real cowhide leather, so it might be a little stiff at first, but it will break in and patina like none other. The Dean features three zippered pockets on the front as well as zippered cuffs, providing that authentic racing jacket-look without killing your bank account.
5. Ksubi Capital Leather Jacket
The Capital Leather Jacket from Ksubi comes in 100% authentic leather and is designed to have a biker fit. It’s heavy-duty with a protective interior quilted lining. It also features retro details such as antique zippers.
Kusbi is an Australian fashion label that’s existed since the 1990s. While the brand was originally focused on high-end denim, they’ve expanded their offerings over time to include other textiles such as leather. Items from Ksubi’s collections have been shown at such high-profile events as New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, and the company operates a flagship store in New York’s SOHO neighborhood.
6. Charcoal Navy Blue Suede Biker Jacket
Leather jackets don’t only come in black and brown. If you want something less traditional, check out this navy-blue suede jacket from The Jacket Maker.
The outer shell is made from real goatskin suede leather, and there’s a quilted polyester lining inside for added warmth. Suede has a softer feel and look than other leather types, and is ideal if you’re going for a more boho look.
This jacket boasts a total of four pockets—two inside and two outside.
7. Acne Studios Off-Centred Zipper Biker Jacket
Swedish fashion powerhouse Acne Studios is well-known for their basic wardrobe pieces, so it makes sense that they would have the classic leather jacket look on lock. We love the way this off-centered jacket packs a punch of personality with its multiple buckles and zippers, but we love even more the way that it does not compromise softness or comfort at the expense of appearance.
This jacket comes with a high-end price tag, but it has the high-end materials to match. It is made of 100% genuine lambskin and comes with an interior lining of 100% viscose. Its unique off-center zip takes its inspiration from street style.
8. Lavendard Brown Leather Biker Jacket
The Jacket Maker has something for everyone, including guys that are a bit intimidated by purchasing their first leather jacket. Not only is the Lavendard incredibly affordable, but it also has a really approachable look despite its biker moniker. With open hem cuffs and a tailored fit, it looks great with badass-inspired outfits as well as everyday wear.
The Lavendard is made of real cowhide, which means it will take on a great patina over time. But it might be a bit stiff when you first get it. The more you wear it, the faster it’ll form to your body, break-in, and soften up. The fact that it goes with so many outfits will help speed up that process.
9. Saturdays NYC Leather Harrington Jacket
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand Saturdays NYC, prepare to fall in love. As a laidback lifestyle brand, Saturdays NYC infuses its love for all things surfer culture in all of its fashion offerings. While primarily known for their loungewear, such as sweats and pullover sweaters, they also happen to make one of the best leather jackets on the market right now.
The leather Harrington jacket features a smooth design and has deep pockets for your convenience. It is made of 100% lambskin leather and features a lining made of polyester. Staying true to its brand’s carefree nature, this jacket features a more relaxed fit than many classic leather jackets.
10. Allaric Alley Mocha Leather Biker Jacket
The most distinctive thing about this biker jacket is the integrated waist belt, which helps create an edgy look. This mocha-colored jacket uses real cowhide leather on the outer shell, with a quilted viscose lining inside.
With two pockets inside and three outside, there’s no shortage of places to keep your wallet and keys.
11. Berluti Piped Venezia Leather Jacket
Unlike the other options we’ve included so far, Berluti is known less for being a fashion brand and more for being a leather maker. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the Paris-based manufacturer has been producing fine leather clothing items and accessories, from belts to bags to jackets.
Berluti’s piped Venezia leather jacket is the apex of luxury leather fashion. Made from a distinctive brown shade, this jacket line has been around since the 1980s – and it’s a style that certainly stands the test of time.
This jacket is made from 100% authentic patinated calfskin leather and features shoulder patches and a buttoned collar. For optimal breathability, the jacket even features ventilation eyelets.
12. Kingsman Burnished Leather Jacket
Kingsman is a line of high-quality clothing pieces that exists as a collaboration between Mr. Matthew Vaughn, director of the film The King’s Man, and international online fashion retailer MR PORTER. The line features items that are inspired by classic military style and timeless sensibilities.
The burnished leather jacket from the Kingsman line is unique for its length as well as its appearance. It draws direct inspiration from an aviator jacket worn on-screen in The King’s Man, a period piece that takes place in the 1940s. The jacket is made out of sturdy cow leather and buttons made of buffalo horns. It also features two linings – one made of cotton, and one made of viscose.
13. Francis B-3 Black & White Leather Bomber Jacket
There’s only one way to improve upon a traditional bomber: Add shearling fabric. If you’re going for a more flamboyant look, this black and white bomber jacket is sure to make an impact. It combines real leather on the outside with a faux fur lining.
The white faux fur lining accentuates the black leather, making this jacket stand out from the crowd. It will keep you warm as well!
The dual front pouch pockets are great for a phone and a pair of gloves, so if you’re wearing it on a motorcycle, you’ll have the storage you need.
14. AllSaints Milo Leather Biker Jacket
AllSaints is a British fashion brand from the United Kingdom. Since its founding in the 1990s, it has grown to an international presence that consists of more than 200 retail stores across Europe, North America, and Asia. The brand is mostly focused on fashion for women and men, though it also sells footwear and other accessories. It has primarily seen its popularity grow thanks to its popularity among a celebrity clientele.
AllSaints makes a number of leather jackets, but the Milo biker jacket is definitely one to write home about. This is a jacket that brings out the very best of two very different worlds – including a soft composition and sharp edges – since it is made of tender lamb leather and decorated to the nines with perfectly-placed zippers and buckles. It also has a distinctive slim fit.
15. Golden Bear Sherpa Jacket
San Francisco brand Golden Bear may have its roots in ship workers in the San Francisco Bay since the 1920s, but it’s evolved today to combine both utilitarianism and high-end style. Although not as recognized outside of its native northern California, to know the stylish jackets of Golden Bear is to love them.
The sherpa jacket, in particular, is exquisite. Like any Golden Bear clothing piece, it’s designed to be worn for life, and fortunately, it comes with a style that will be sure to stay in fashion for decades to come, with brown distressed leather and a notable shearling collar that can be detached.
16. Sven Mocha Suede Bomber Jacket
Here’s another suede leather jacket, this time in a subtle mocha finish. This jacket is made using real goatskin leather and has a total of six pockets (two inside and four outside).
This jacket looks best with a tight fit, which can be achieved perfectly using The Jacket Maker’s custom fitting service.
17. Tom Ford Zip-up Leather Jacket
Tom Ford is well-known for their high-end scents and formal clothing, but they have a strong foot in the casual jacket sphere as well. Not that this zip-up leather jacket is something you would wear to a casual house party. Its sleek edges and formal design make it more than suitable for a fancy professional event or night out on the town.
True to its brand’s roots, no attention to detail was spared in the creation of this particular wardrobe piece. Its straightforward design features 100% authentic leather and a cotton and polyamide lining. It is truly meant to last for life. Made in Italy, this jacket has shallow pockets in the front and a zipper down the center.
18. Schott Vintaged Fitted Cowhide Leather Motorcycle Jacket
Schott is an iconic name in leather jacket world, thanks in part to Marlon Brando, who wore a Schott jacket in The Wild Ones.
This jacket is pricey, but has a classic design and is built to last decades. It’s made from a lighter weight cowhide, which makes it breathable, so it’s perfect for wearing in warmer months.
As you’d expect from this brand, the Schott Vintaged jacket is made in the USA.
19. Bomia Ma-1 Black Leather Bomber Jacket
This classic black leather jacket has a timeless look that will never go out of fashion. It’s made from genuine leather on the outside with a polyester lining inside.
This motorcycle jacket has a rib knit collar and cuffs and a zipped pocket on the left sleeve.
The leather feels soft yet tough—you can tell this jacket is the real deal!
20. Roland Sands Ronin Leather Jacket
This sleek, minimalistic jacket is a real moto jacket trusted by serious bikers. It also looks incredibly cool, with a distressed, vintage feel and a truly American feel.
This jacket can be supplemented with RSD x Forcefield armor to give you extra protection while riding.
Leather Jacket FAQs
While there are many different unique leather jacket configurations out there, there are four classic syles you should be most aware of. In no particular order, they are the leather bomber jacket (also called aviator jacket), the leather racer jacket (sometimes called moto), the trenchcoat, and the fencer. While bomber jackets and racer jackets tend to be more relaxed, the trenchcoat and the fencer are more dramatic.
If you care for your leather jacket correctly you should have a wardrobe piece that’ll last you a lifetime. Most leather jackets cannot be washed at home and must only be handled professionally. The first step to taking proper care of your jacket is to adhere to this rule.
You should also keep your leather jacket dry as often as possible and keep it away from extreme heat or cold air. If you are not going to be wearing your leather jacket for a period of time, such as during a warm season, then you’ll want to be sure that you are hanging it up correctly – this means out of direct sunlight and in a properly-ventilated area.
Determining how much to pay for a leather jacket is a very personal matter. For an authentic leather jacket, you will probably be paying, at a baseline, $500. However, this price can easily skyrocket from here, depending on the jacket’s materials and manufacturing process.
Some leather jackets can cost as much as $10,000! There is no right or wrong number – it’s instead about the brands you like and the style that you envision for yourself.