Maori is the indigenous people of New Zealand who are originated from Eastern Polynesia. When the ancestors of Maori tribe migrated to the new land between AD800 to 1300, they brought along the unique Polynesian cultures and arts–Ta Moko, or tattoo custom.
The amazing Maori tattoo designs have been sported by the tribe over many generations. Today, the beauty of the work of art has attracted many non-Polynesian in the world to ink Ta Moko tattoo designs.
Maori symbols are popular for their unique spiral lines and curves that are carved on the body. A traditional tattooing instrument, usually a serrated and sharp bone chisel, is used to carve and insert pigmentations into the skin. Although the inking process is extremely long and painful, it is a very sacred event to the Polynesian tribe. The tattooing is normally accompanied by traditional performance of poem chanting and flute music. It is believed that this will help the bearers to reduce pain while their skins are repeatedly carved to make spiral patterns. After getting the Polynesian design, the wearers will have to stay away from solid foods because any minor movement of the body will cause excessive pain to them.
Ta Moko arts are visual symbols that are used to convey the tribal identity, ancestry, spirituality, social status, and family ranking. Only the prominent Maori tribe has the privilege to ink. For people who do not sport any Maori symbols are deemed to have no social status, and this practice has been there for a thousand years. If you fancy Ta Moko designs, you should pick an artwork that does not carry any attributes of the Maori tribe.
Traditionally, the Maori tattoo designs are sported on the face, thighs and buttock for the men. For women, the visual symbols are limited to the chins and lips. Due to the traditionally long and painful way to acquire Ta Moko, the symbols signify bravery, sacrifice and respect.
Polynesian emblems are beautiful and creative with intricate spiral patterns. The modern Ta Moko tattoos are often combined with Celtic element to form another type of unique artwork, and the tattoo looks great to be sported on the shoulders and upper arms.
As Ta Moko designs have very unique characteristics among all tribal artworks, Maori arts have won a very important place in the tattoo industry around the world.
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