Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adornment of Ta Moko

Western water-color painting of Ta Moko on a Maori man.

Ta Moko is the adornment of designs in ink on the Maori of New Zealand faces. The designs on their faces are the story of their life on their face. The signature of their name comes from this design. The Maori sign legal documents with this design. These markings are also the symbols of their social status and family history. Each person has their own unique Maori.
Interpretation of Ta Moko in Western culture, usually called "tribal"

I do have tattoos of my own and got them for my own personal reasons. After learning about the Maori's Ta Moko, I find it very offensive for a person of Western culture to get a ignorant knock off of the Ta Moko, which is usually referred to as "tribal" tattoos. It is offensive because the Ta Moko is personal and historical to the person who adorns them, and people who generally receive a tribal tattoo are ill-educated about the subject and the real meaning of tattoos like that.

Ta Moko is the art of life engraved into the skin of the Maori who wear every curve, line, or design with deep pride.

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