The Polynesian Maori style
Tribal tattoo, the Maori tattoo is from the Polynesian tribe Maori, inhabitants of New Zealand.
The term Tattoo or tattoo in French comes from the word Tatau in Polynesian meaning to strike, it is also derived from the Tahitian word “Ta-Atua”, which is the coupling of the word “Ta”: drawing inscribed in the skin “and” Atua ” : spirit “.
To better define the Maori tattoo, a reference in the art of tattooing, we will focus on:
- His origins
- His techniques
- His symbols
The origins of the Maori tattoo:
Historically, it is at the end of the eighteenth century that the word is reported in the West by James Cook on his return from his travels in Polynesia. The word tatau is common in many Polynesian cultures. It was in 1769 that the word tattoo made its entry into everyday language, and in 1858 that the word was officially “francisé”.
Of Maori origin, the Polynesian tattoo is imbued with a very strong symbolic. Rite of passage tattoo marked the body of Polynesians and inscribed the history of their life, expression of social rank, clan or personality for example, it was primarily intended for prestigious personalities and higher classes.
In New Zealand, the birth of the tattoo Maori would be of divine origin, from a love story, the tattoo would have been transmitted to men.
The tattoo is at the time “the” external sign of wealth and power. Chiefs and warriors were most often tattooed all over the body, the head was spared except for priests.
For women, tattooing was an ornament; tattoos are circumscribed from the hands to the feet, to the lips and sometimes to the thighs and buttocks for the women of chiefs.
Banished by the missionaries at the end of the 18th century, the Polynesian tattoo has reappeared today among Polynesians striving to enhance their origins.
Maori tattoo techniques:
The original technique of Polynesian tattooing is extremely painful: a comb made of shark tooth or bone or the end of a handle on which the tattooist tapped to insert pigments extracted from diluted walnut charcoal into the dermis.
To this is added a smaller stick, which was used as a kind of percussion: the tattooist held the comb in one hand and the other struck first to push the teeth of the comb, impregnated with dye, in the flesh. The dye used was obtained from the Tiairi bancoule nut.
These traditional instruments were banned in 1986 by the Ministry of Health.
Highly sought after and in vogue today, the dotwork technique, literally the work of the point, is the contemporary replica of the traditional Maori inking mode.
The aesthetics and the symbolism of the Maori tattoo:
The Maori tattoo is a real identity card, we write his story on the body with identifiable symbols: