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Home World News The Observers – Bringing back the art of Māori tā moko tattooing using traditional tools

The Observers – Bringing back the art of Māori tā moko tattooing using traditional tools

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world news Issued on: 10/10/2022 – 14:11

02:31

Mokonui-a-rangi Smith works by hand with the traditional Māori and Polynesian hand tools known as Uhi in his studio in Auckland. © Mokonui-a-rangi Smith In New Zealand, tattooing is offering indigenous communities a way to “decolonise”. Far from simple body art, traditional Māori tattooing, known as tā moko, can symbolise status and growth within Māori communities. After being at risk of extinction for decades under British colonial rule in New Zealand, tā moko is undergoing a revival. Now, a select few practitioners are bringing back traditional methods of tattooing using tools rather than machines.

Mokonui-a-rangi Smith works by hand with the traditional Māori and Polynesian hand tools known as Uhi in his studio in Auckland. He told us more about the importance of moko in the effort to reclaim indigenous identities.

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