Tattooing is an important part of the Maori culture.


Due to centuries of isolation, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology. In the Maori language the word Maori means “normal”. They are one of the native people of Polynesia, that inhabit the island of New Zealand.

Tattooing is an important part of the Maori culture. They traditionally cover their faces and heads because of their belief that the head is the most sacred part of the body. This tattoo called “ta moko” is an combination of different circular shapes. Together these figures tell a story. Even if some tattoos look the same, no tattoo is identical as everyone has his own story.

The Haka

“The haka dance of the Maori is one of the best known cultural traditions of Polynesia.”

These dances are accompanied by song and body percussion created by, stomping feet, clapping hands and slapping thighs. During the Haka, their is a leader and a chorus that responds to the leaders lead vocal. The dance involves energetic postures representing warlike and aggressive poses.

Another way to tell stories and keep the Maori culture alive is by using carves. This are wooden artworks which the Maori use to record and remember events. The carves can be read by those who know how.

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