Did this Ana’ole Polynesian style honu on the calf of a gentleman from Canada the other day. He wanted a piece that spoke of his marriage, his two sons, his love of the outdoors and nature, family, protection, new beginnings and love for the sea. The entire piece represents his love for the sea, which is why he chose the turtle in the first place. Super cool dude! Had a blast chatting it up with him and his wife. Hope to see them again soon.
Breakdown is as follows:
a) mata/maka= eyes. These two symbols represent his sons, individually. I placed them on either side of the turtle so that they are positions of observance, to watch out for him.
b) lei e ata te hae= wedding garland. This symbols represents he and his wife’s union, and is essentially a garland of individuals holding hands, connected together as the two families unite.
c) ani ata= sky/heaven/ancestors. This symbol reinforces the bottom symbol (b) and represents his ancestors looking down on him from the heavens essentially protecting and blessing his marriage.
d) kofati= crease/fold/plaiting. This diamond pattern represents a weave of fronds, such as pandanus or palm, and is an analog to nobility and the righteousness of the earth.
e) mata hoata= all seeing eyes. This protective symbol is used to watch out for impending danger and is a more elaborate version of the mata (a).
f) niho=teeth. This symbol of a closed mouth is meant to catch sin and protect as well as offer courage and strength. It is at the front of the turtle shell to protect the symbols the follow it.
g) ka’ake= upraised arms. These two symbols represent upraised arms that are meant to convey power, force, and generosity.
h) koru=unfurling fern head. This Maori symbol represents the unfurling fern shoot and is meant to convey life, breath, new beginnings and the earth.
i) lei niho= garland of teeth. This motif is the same as ‘f’ only set into a lei, or garland.
All of the symbols are done in Fibonacci sequence in both number and form.
Thanks for looking!