Tā moko, aka the traditional body art of the indigenous people of New Zealand. The taonga, or treasure, holds a special meaning for each individual bearing ink.
Originally, the Moko gave insight to a man’s tribal affiliation and social ranking.
Every shape, pattern and symbol told a story of his unique background and offered an insightful connection to his integrity and whakapapa. However, what you see today isn’t always a precise representation of the past.
Around the 20th century (or 1990 to be more specific), Ta moko experienced a rival in popularity and many styles began to mix traditional bases with more modern touches. As for the meaning behind this ink style, it also shifted to become more of an expression of integrity and cultural pride.
Not to mention, outside of the tribal culture it’s quite difficult to spot a true facial moko. While intimidating to some, the head was considered to e the most scared part of the body. Just like in today’s society, it’s a permanent, undeniable declaration of a man that can’t be concealed.
Of course, there’s always the difference between the process of using uhi (chisels) and the modern tattoo machines of today.
Regardless, go ahead and explore these top 90 best Maori tattoo designs for men below. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by in the integrity of this ink style and discover numerous ideas of your own.