THE HISTORY OF TATTOO IS HARD TO RECOUNT EVENTHOUGH IT’S AN ANCESTRAL PRACTICE WE CAN’T PLACE IT’S ORIGIN.
SLEGEND OF THE MOKO
According to the maori’s mythology tattoo started with a love story between a young man named Mataora (meaning “face of vitality”) and a young princess from the world of darkness named Niwareka.
One day mataora hited niwareka, so she flew away to the realm of her father a place called Uetonga. Mataora was repenting and heart broken, so he went to search niwareka. he had to overcome a lots of problemes to reach the realm of uetonga. after his long trip the painting on his face was dirty. niweka’s family laughed at the ridicule appearance of mataora…humbly he begged for niweka’s forgiveness and she gave it to him. so the father of niweka offered to him to teach him the art of tattoo. in the same time mataora learn the art of taniko (to plaint ).
then niweka and mataora went back to the world of the humans bringing back with them the art of the moko and taniko.
The moko- complete facial tattoo
the head was considered as the most sacred part of the body, and as the tattoo was color red blood the tattoo maker “tohunga-ta-oko” were considered as very “tapu” persons. All the high rank maoris were tattooed and thos who were not were considered as persons without any social status. also the moko make the warrior attracting to women.
The tattooing would beging at puberty with a lots of rites and ritual ceremony. the instrument used to tattoo was cisor made of bone with a saw “teeth” edge or with a very sharp edge. the first step was to make deep incision into the skin.
Then they would dip the cisor into pigment (like burned gumm) kauri or burned caterpillar. then he pigment was hammered on the skin.
It was extremly long and painfull karaka’s leafs were put on the incisins to accelerate the ealing.
Wars were common and warriors had very few time to recover their strengh. during the time of the ealing it was impossible for the warrior to eat. so they would use funnel with liquid food untill the warrior was able to eat normaly. during the tattoo some would play flute or tell poems to releive the pain.
Women were less tattooed. their lips were underlined, the chin tooand some fine lines would adorne their chics and forehead.
Tohunga: priest, wise man, medicine man
Tohunganism: maori’s traditional medicine
the work of the tohunga would go along with rituals and religious practices. thats what gave him a priestly status. tohungas could be specialist into one discipline: sacred knowledge, ritual ceremony, history, legends and genealogy or relationships between spirits and demons but they had to have skills in every domains.
Can be qualified of tohunga every person who expert in a domain for exemple: construction, tattooing, sculpture.