Sunday, July 11, 2010

Maori Tattoo Designs - How to Get Them Without Roasting Insects

Getting Back Your Mojo With A Ta Moko

Yes, the revered Ta Moko, meaning the 'process' of acquiring Maori Tattoo Designs, has been truly a striking art-form dating back generations. Therefore given their infectious appeal, they have inevitably crossed over from the Pacific Islands to our western societies. The key is however, for us to not let its authenticity be diluted by considering it a mere trend. They are motifs with quintessence.

If we rewind back in time a bit, it all started off with a man and woman's love affair, (in Maori mythology that is...). A tribal Romeo and Juliet, if you will. The man named 'Mataora' at one time during their relationship, assaulted his lady princess named 'Niwareka'. To no surprise, the princess hurt and shamed, left Mataora and returned to her father's monarchy.

Well when this occurred, Mataora was ridden with guilt and earnestly attempted to reunite with Niwareka. He underwent a multitude of trials and tribulations to win her back, which consisted of countless hurdles and hardships during this quest.

Toward the end of his progressively futile attempts, to gain her heart back with repeated begging nonetheless, Niwareka eventually accepted and forgave Mataora for his misgivings.

Look Like A Slob, You'll Get Scorned

The interesting fact however, is when he arrived at her father's domain, Mataora's facial tribal markings, were all disfigured and in complete shambles, due to his long arduous voyage.

Appearing all haggard and disheveled, with face paint that may have looked like Halloween make-up gone awry, Niwareka's relatives scoffed, chided and jeered Mataora, for his less than streamlined symmetrical Maori tattoo designs. His face was just a visionary nightmare.

Little Tribal Grasshopper Learns From Master

Therefore, Niwareka's father thought he could help Mataora, by implementing his tattoo craftsmanship and elected to tutor and mentor Mataora, by guiding him through the intricate art of Polynesian tattoo designs. Whether it was tribal shoulder tattoos, tribal arm tattoos, or even the whole body, the tutoring covered every step.

During this apprenticeship, Mataora also was also taught 'Taniko', which was the implementation of interweaving the semblance of various border colors in this craft. (I would imagine this was the manifestation, regarding the fine complexities of such elaborate patterns).

Eventually, both Mataora and Niwareka returned to the world as everyday mortals, and thus bringing with them the artful mastery of - Ta Moko and Taniko.

No, Not Burnt Furry Critters?

So how does 'roasting insects', or in this case - caterpillars, fit into all of this? Well obviously, pulsating needle guns didn't exist back then and with that, came excruciating hours of injecting ink into the skin - the HARD way. The Polynesians, or at least the Maoris, typically used the bone of the oceanic Albatross bird, as the so-called 'needle'.

Then as another necessary ingredient, they either used burnt gum from the Kauri tree, or, burnt vegetable caterpillars. Poor lil' critters. Who would have ever thought? Flamed-up larva as tattoo ink. How creative is that?

The residue from either of these two soot-like black pigments, were then tapped into the tribesperson with a mallet. Now, we are really looking at a process, which would separate the men from the boys! This tortuous rite of passage acquiring tribal art tattoos, was so unbearable, that musical chants and flute playing was performed, to help quell the evident lengthy pain.

Hmmmm...mallets, bird-bones, burnt caterpillars and flutes, all at once. What an interesting potpourri of components to obtain those awesome designs! Quite exotic actually come to think of it.

No Need For An Airline Ticket

So fast forward to today. I realize that there are many people among us, who actually enjoy the pain of acquiring tribal art designs in some sort of peculiar way. (I even may be a little guilty of that too).

However, I think I'll take the vibrating needle gun, over agonizing tapping mallets. Plus the fact, I'd hate to compromise the butterfly population, by roasting cute and furry caterpillars. I'll gladly make do with the jet black, metal salt dye in the studio instead.

Okay, so we can't just hop on a plane in a heartbeat to the Pacific Islands, nor we really want bird bones inserted in our bodies. But, there is a solution to the tattoo-hunting dilemma without traversing the open ocean...

If you really wish to seek a smooth, easy and very stress-free method of obtaining those striking Polynesian Tattoo Designs, it would be sinful to not check out this little gem.

Here's a resource, where not only you'll have full access to those eye-catching Maori Tattoo Designs plus boatloads of valuable complimentary treats, but also an enormous selection of other tribal art tattoos as well.