The traditional New Zealand Maori tattoo art has enjoyed resurgence in today’s pop culture. You have probably never heard of Ta moko. In fact, unless you are interested in the hotness of Dwayne Johnson or Rihanna, you have possibly never taken notice of Maori tattoos. Maori tattoos are full of symbolism and have deep meaning behind each shape and line used. But if you have noticed this amazing tattoo form you may wonder how to get one of your own. Here is what you need to know about getting a Maori tattoo.
Guide to Maori Tattoo. How to get yours, and why you should:
Historically Maori tattoos were done completely different than what has become known as traditional tattooing in the US. Getting this type of tattoo is a long process. It is not a one-time deal. Normally you would get a tattoo done with a tattoo gun. While it has become acceptable to do Maori tattoos with a gun the Polynesian people did theirs with tattoo combs. So the skin was not being punctured with a needle it was actually being carved with a chisel. If that sounds more painful – it is. Maori’s are not for someone who has a low pain tolerance regardless if you are using a comb or needle.
Pick Your Design
Maori’s are full of personal significance. They are full of spirals, curves, and dots done in a very intricate pattern. If choosing a tattoo design took you forever, a Ta moko will take even longer. Each dot, line, or shape speaks about you. If you have siblings there is a Maori symbol for brother or sister. If your mother is important in your life there is a symbol for that as well. There are symbols for personal goals and attributes as well. You don’t have to know what they are you just need to know what you want the tat to say.
Take the Easy Way Out
Maybe you don’t want to go through all that personal significance stuff; you just want something that will catch the eye of a hottie across the room. You can do that too. A Google search will give you tons of ideas for a Maori tattoo. If you are too lazy to look up the meaning of your design you can make up a story about the significance. Not a lot of people will know what the design elements mean anyway. Just make sure you have a story you can stick to when you have had a few.
Decide Where You Want Your Maori
If you stick with the tradition of the Polynesian people who invented this type of tattooing, your location will go along with the message you want it to portray. Women would usually get their tats on the back, neck, chin, and lips. For the men they would be placed on the face, legs, or the buttocks. Yes, men got their butts tattooed. Am I the only one who thinks that tattooing a man’s butt is …ahem… unusual?
Choose an Artist
It doesn’t matter what kind of tattoo you are doing, one of the most important things to remember is to find a good artist. I know that sounds simple, but it can be harder than you think. You want to make sure that the lines are clean and the ink doesn’t fade. One way to find a good artist is to look at the tats on people you know. Most people when they find a good artist refuse to go to anyone else. A good artist will be able to incorporate what you want to say into an amazing design.
Why You Should Get a Maori:
Look at this photo, isn’t he just adorable? Anyway, my point is, tattoos are a personal statement. It doesn’t matter what tat you get they all say something. We have all seen tats that say someone is an idiot. On the other hand we have seen tattoos that were amazing and said that the person who has it was a bad mama jamma.
You Can Spin It
Even if a the symbols used in your Maori say you are a momma’s boy who still lives at home and flat out calls you a looser, it still looks amazing. Remember only a small portion of the population will be able to know what your tattoo says. So that leaves lots of potential dates impressed with your tattoo – until you try to take them back to your momma’s house. You can spin the meaning of your tattoo any way you want to. Be careful about that though because you never know who has researched the history of this tattoo.
Maori’s are Never Finished
One of the beautiful things about Maori tattoos is that they are done in a way that you can always add to them. With traditional tattoos it is sometimes hard to tie in one design to another, but with Maori’s there is always a way to add to it without compromising the beauty of the original tattoo. On the flip side you never have to add to a Maori if you don’t want to.
Everyone has tattoos of stars, or hearts, or skulls. They are some of the most common tattoos out there. You don’t even have to walk a block in most cases to see someone with one of these tattoos. If you want something that will make someone turn their head chances are one of those won’t do it. On the other hand a Maori tattoo is more unusual, more striking. There is something to be said for a tattoo that makes people turn their head. With tattooing losing some of the stigmas that it has held in previous decades you want something that catches the eye.
At the end of the day Maori tattoos are not for everyone. That’s a good thing. The more popular something becomes the less special it is. Maori tattoos are special because of the history of the art and the unique story it tells. Use the information here to see if the Maori tattoo is something that you can see carrying with you throughout your life. If it is, choose your design and location then find a good artist and get started.
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