This is a perfect example of a Maori tattoo. Maori tattooing is essentially curvilinear, and the mainstay of Maori designs are based on the spiral as you can clearly see. Thus, it’s often confused by most people with other forms of tribal tattooing. But, the two disciplines are completely usually exclusive. Maori tattooing is distinguished by the use of bold lines and the repetition of specific design motifs that are prominent both in the tattooing or "moko" of the Maori people of New Zealand and within other cultural artworks suck as carving and weaving. And that is exactly what the artist has captured here. Traditionally Maori tattoo artists followed very specific rules laid out for facial "moko" or tattoos. It is important to note that because of the tremendous cultural complexity of New Zealand’s many tribes and clans, these rules often had local variations. But the idea that the tattoos followed a set of prescribed rules was widespread, and tattoos were specific to individuals, family, clans and tribes. Maori tattoos follow the contours of the face, or the natural curves of the body and are meant to enhance the natural contours and expressions of an individual’s face or trunk.
Here are a great many examples of a maori tattoo. Maori beign the name of the original, indigenous people of New Zealand. And these tattoos all look to be of some sort of tribal significance. You can see that they are made up of bold and symmetric shapes and styles and is obvious that the maori were and still are very proud people.
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