Finding a meaning beyond the face

August 2003
Travel Weekly: The Choice of Travel Professionals;8/25/2003, Issue 1682, p69
Trade Publication
Tattoos or "ta moko" as Maori call them, are a historical record, as of August 25, 2003. Maori people had no written language and so stories were told over ages through drawings. Each ta moko design is unique, telling the tale of the bearer's family and their tribal affiliations. Intended as a greeting, the way these men stick out their tongues and contort their faces is pretty frightening, as England rugby team can surely testify. While visiting a Marae, there is a certain protocol that must be followed. Visitors and residents take it in turns to sing, chant and say prayers, after which a challenge is made by Maori to determine whether or not visitors' intentions are peaceful.


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