Maori are the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand whose ancestors were migrants from the Eastern Polynesia between AD800 to 1300. Carrying with them to the new land was the rich Polynesian cultures as well as the unique Maori tribal tattoo arts.
Ta moko, referred to tattoos in Maori language, were traditional tattoo lines carved on the face and other parts of the body using a sharp or a serrated bone chisel from the sea bird. Although the tattooing process was extremely terrifying, painful and long, it was a sacred event. Tattooing was usually accompanied by traditional flute music performance and poems chanting in order to help the bearers eased the pain while their bodies were being chiseled with lines and curved patterns. Due to extensive pain induced by any body movement, the bearers would not be able to eat any solid food until the wounds on the face were recovered.
The ancient men usually wore Maori tribal tattoo arts on their buttocks, faces, and thighs, whereas the women would chiseled their Polynesian tattoos on their upper lips, chins, and the nostrils. Maori tattoos were visual signs that conveyed the bearers’ tribal identity, ancestry, family rank, social status and spirituality. This practice has been there for over a thousand years. In the past only the important Maori wore tattoos, and for those who did not own any ta moko tattoos were considered to have no social status.
Modern Maori tribal tattoo is becoming increasingly popular, and is a great expression of uniqueness, style and fashion. It is also a symbol of sacrifice, daring and respect due to its traditionally long and painful process of acquiring ta moko. If you choose to ink ta moko tattoos on your body, you may want to avoid using those designs that carry special attributes of the Maori tribe. The Polynesian tattoos are creative and beautiful which consist of complex curved patterns and spiral shapes. Contemporary ta moko are usually blended with Celtic tattoos to form new distinctive artworks. Ta moko arts have become one of the most important sources of tribal tattoos around the world as Maori tattoos have their own uniqueness and special characteristic among all the Polynesian tattoos.
Maori tattoos look superb to be worn on the shoulder rather than on the face like in the old days. The most popular Maori tribal tattoo designs are of the medium and large sizes, and they appear in many different colors, shapes and styles to suit the taste of all types of tattoo lovers.
Selecting the most inspiring design is important as tattoos will be with you to love forever. It is always advisable to pre-select your tattoo designs carefully before setting off to your favorite tattoo parlor. This is to prevent any last minute decision making in the tattoo parlor that may impact you for life. Investing money and time doing research on magazines, books and internet will make certain that you get the best body art option. You should make use of all available resources when searching and picking your perfect Polynesian tattoos. For unique, creative and original tattoos, check out the top 3 tattoo galleries here at Maori Tribal tattoo.