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Maori Ta Moko Project

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Maori Ta Moko- inspired Designs incorporating positive and negative space and personal symbolism

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Maori Ta Moko Project

  1. 1. Ta Moko M A O R I T A T T O O I N G “ Ta Moko, which means the art of moko, is worn as a symbol of identity and origin. With lines, shapes and patterns it tells the story of the person within the skin” – www.newzealand.com
  2. 2. Tangata Whenua: The local people of the land <ul><li>Around 800 and 1200 AD, the first Polynesian settlers arrive in New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>The Maori people settled where food was prevalent -- primarily around the N.E. coastline </li></ul><ul><li>Europeans follow the whaling trade and purchase land from the Maori people </li></ul><ul><li>By the 1840’s New Zealand has been officially colonized under British rule </li></ul>
  3. 3. Maori Mythology <ul><li>According to myth, the art of tattoo commenced with a love affair between a young Maori man (Mataora) and a young princess of the Underworld (Niwareka) </li></ul><ul><li>Mataora struck Niwareka one day during an argument, so she fled to her father’s realm in the Underworld </li></ul><ul><li>Mataora followed her out of guilt, sadness, and regret but when he finally got to the Underworld his face paints were streaked and smeared from the long and difficult journey </li></ul><ul><li>Niwareka’s family berated Mataora for his messy appearance but he was so humbled that he eventually begged successfully for Niwareka’s forgiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Niwareka’s father taught Mataora the art of tattoo (ta moku) and weaving (taniko) -- skills they would eventually bring back to the human world </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ta Moko: the process <ul><li>Tattooing customarily begins around puberty and adolescence </li></ul><ul><li>Bone chisels or serrated rakes (Uhi Matarau) are first used to carve deep grooves into the skin </li></ul><ul><li>Flat chisels (Uhi) coated with soot are then tapped into the grooves with a mallet (Paatuketuke) to deposit dark pigment (tae) </li></ul><ul><li>Facial tattoos were grooved and textured creating a relief on the skin </li></ul><ul><li>The best tattoo artists would study their subject to determine the shape of the face and the best layout for the tattoo design </li></ul>
  5. 5. Moko: Gender Differences <ul><li>Women: received chin tattoos and lip outlines in blue or black; sometimes their nostrils would be incised </li></ul>“ moko kauae” (cultural chin tattoo)
  6. 6. Men: received extensive facial tattoos that occasionally radiated out onto the back, buttocks, and legs Moko: Gender Differences
  7. 7. The Moko Design . . . <ul><li>Moko designs were contemplated for months before being carried out -- only tribal elders could determine if one had the right to wear a Moko </li></ul><ul><li>The Maori Moko designs represent an individual’s identity, tribal history and rank in society </li></ul><ul><li>No two designs are the same! The patterns are often similar, but the overall design should never be replicated </li></ul><ul><li>Moko designs are characterized by swirling and radiating patterns and design elements that follow the bone structure -- designs with positive and negative space! </li></ul>
  8. 9. Contemporary Moko . . . <ul><li>Modern Moko is applied with a tattoo machine and lacks the relief of the chiseled tattoos </li></ul><ul><li>There are generally 3 schools of thought regarding modern Moko tattooing on non-Maori people: </li></ul><ul><li>1. That it is absolutely disrespectful, wrong, insensitive, and insulting -- Moko tattoos belong ONLY on Maori natives </li></ul><ul><li>2. That it is good to have “cultural exposure” if it is done appropriately, and sensitively (books) </li></ul><ul><li>3. That it is OK, acceptable, and appropriate for other cultures to borrow Maori Moko designs, or change their traditional uses </li></ul>
  9. 10. Examples of Moko “ You may be robbed of all that you cherish. But of your moko, you cannot be deprived, except by death. It will be your ornament and your companion until your final day. ” Netena Whakaari of Waimana, 1921
  10. 11. Examples of Moko
  11. 12. More examples of modern Moko
  12. 13. How does this relate to DRAWING? <ul><li>Some things to think about . . . </li></ul><ul><li>POSITIVE and NEGATIVE Space </li></ul><ul><li>What is the SUBJECT? What is the BACKGROUND? </li></ul><ul><li>Flat lines = Flat Space (One-Dimension) </li></ul><ul><li>Curved Lines = Space and Form (Three-Dimensional) </li></ul><ul><li>How can you create TEXTURE with pattern? </li></ul><ul><li>How can PATTERN create or give the illusion of FORM? </li></ul>
  13. 14. OK, What’s Next?! <ul><li>CREATE 3 original, Maori inspired MOKO TATTOO DESIGNS. Each one must be based on some aspect of your life (initials, hobby, favorite place etc…) </li></ul><ul><li>FOCUS on pattern, line, shape, form, texture, and positive and negative space </li></ul><ul><li>THINK about designing your tattoo so that it follows the form of a body part -- Moko designs were intended for the face, arm, back, and leg -- where would your tattoo be placed? </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re having trouble creating a design, you may do extra RESEARCH on Ta Moko, but remember, you must make your designs completely unique and original! </li></ul><ul><li>CRAFTSMANSHIP counts! Designs should be crafted in a neat and careful manner so they look professional. </li></ul>
  14. 24. Resources <ul><li>BOOKS: </li></ul><ul><li>Marks of Civilization </li></ul><ul><li>By: Arnold Rubin </li></ul><ul><li>Written on the Body : The Tattoo in European and American History </li></ul><ul><li>By: Jane Caplan </li></ul><ul><li>Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos </li></ul><ul><li>By: Samuel M. Steward </li></ul><ul><li>INTERNET: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.tamoko.org.nz/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://history-nz.org/index.html </li></ul><ul><li>www.fiu.edu/~harveyb/moko.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.maoriart.org.nz/noticeboard/te_uhi/links </li></ul>

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