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The Maoris of New Zealand had several art forms that were distinctive to their culture These art forms included woodcarving cloak weaving and tattooing The most unusual of these crafts was the tattooing which they traditionally placed on their faces thighs and buttocks They tattooed by dipping a sharpened piece of bone into pigment which was then tapped on the area of skin to be tattooed with a mallet This art form was practiced universally among the Maoris Hiroa 1949 All societies have intricacies in their cultures One of the Maoris intricacies was that they had ritual tattooing of the tribe members They called it ta moko with Ta being the act of striking the mallet and moko being the resultant pattern Hiroa 1949 There were several important facets to this practice the design the origin myth the tools and the rituals surrounding the tattooing and what it means to the Maoris of today The Maoris myth of the origin of ta moko was that a man named Mataora took Niwareka who lived in the spirit world as his wife After they were married for a while Mataora got jealous and angry with Niwareka and eventually struck her Such actions were unknown to the Harmon 2 people who lived in the spirit world Therefore soon after he struck her she went back to her home the spirit world After she left Mataora became full of grief and went to find her He went to the guardian of the entrance of the spirit world Te Kuwatawata Mataora asked him if he had seen Niwareka and the guardian said that she had been weeping when she passed through the entrance to the spirit world Te Kuwatawata then allowed Mataora to go into the spirit world to look for Niwareka On his search Mataora came to the home of Ue Tonga Niwarekas father Ue Tonga was tattooing a persons body When Mataora saw this he was surprised because
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