I love Australia, New Zealand, and virtually anything from Down Under. I will eat Vegemite if I get my hands on it, I still rock to Men at Work, and nothing beats a good meal at Outback Steakhouse. Call me a freak, but I love anything from Australia or New Zealand. Not surprisingly, I also love Maori tattoos even though I don’t have one.
The Maori people are an indigenous Polynesian tribe that still numbers almost 750,000. Although they were almost wiped out by the Europeans who settled in Australia and New Zealand, they are thriving today and their culture is represented in some of the most popular tattoos.
What is so special about Maori tattoos?
1. getting Maori tattoos was originally a rite of passage.
Getting tattooed the authentic Maori way is a painful and long process, an initiation to adulthood. The marks are specially chosen to show the characteristics of its wearer. courageous, honorable, first-born – you name it, the Maori tattoo symbolized it.
2. each Maori tattoo has a meaning.
Forget random. Maori designs are anything but. each line or shape in the tatt has a meaning and tells a story.
3. Maori tatts are usually placed where they can be worn with pride.
How visible are Maori tatts? well, it’s pretty hard to miss. It’s usually worn on a woman’s chin (when done so, it comes in curved and simple lines) and on a man’s scalp and face.
The Maori way of inking is called ta moko. It’s an ancient art and has been worn by the Maoris for centuries. The tattoos tell the story of its wearer. each spiral, turn, and twist says something about its wearer’s ancestry, achievement, and identity.
Ironically, there was once a time when Maori tattoos were considered ugly and distasteful. Today, many wear their moko (Maori tattoo) in full view and with much pride.
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