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.