Reviewed & updated: December 23, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Looking for a cool face tattoo that also has a deep meaning behind it? We got you covered! Check out these amazing Moko Kauae tattoos that will suit you.
Facial tattoos have had a very special significance in the Māori culture for a very long time.
The significance of Maori culture started to fade away after the colonisation of New Zealand. This culture started to resurface recently when women started getting their lips and chin tattooed with the Māori stamp.
For the Maori women of New Zealand, the traditional māori tattoo is considered to be very sacred and a display of their true identity. In ancient times, men had the Mataora tattooed on their faces and it was considered a mark of nobility. These tattoos were made on their heads as it was considered the most sacred part of the body, and thus enhanced the significance of the chin tattoos. The women of that culture for the Moko Kauae tattoo meaning on their lips and chin and this was a representation of their leadership qualities. These tattoos were a representation of the abilities and social status of these Maori women.
Receiving the Moko Kauae on their faces and other parts of the body was considered an important milestone in their lives. This tattoo-making session was celebrated with various rituals and rites. These tattoos were considered to make each gender look more appealing to the opposite. Men got it on their faces and women got it on their lips and chin. Other known parts of such tattoos were the forehead, thighs, backs, and necks.
If you are a part of the Māori culture or want to stand with these women who are bringing back this culture, the Moko Kauae face tattoos are the way to go! Check out these amazing designs and choose your next tattoo!
Homage To Moko Kauae
The Māori culture had lost all its significance around 1800s when New Zealand was colonised. Originally, these tattoos were carved on the skin with chisels rather than being punctured in the skin like modern tattoos. The skin then had grooves rather than a smoother surface. The pigments of these tattoos were made from awheto (caterpillar fungus) which gave it a black color. Tattoo making was considered an art form and both men and women travelled across the world to display it. These Moko Kauae tattoos are generally worn by women.
This design was made with black ink on the chin of the wearer. This beautiful design is worn with pride as it is a significance of their heritage.
Many cultures believed that the Moko Kauae signifies the end of a person’s life, however, these tattoos are generally a sign of a beginning. This is a sign of becoming a woman, the beginning of your calling into this world, the chance to revive a culture and understand a beautiful language. Several women around the world gathered together and got these tattoos on their lips and chins as a sign or reviving the maroi culture.
In this picture, you can see 3 variations of the traditional Moko Kauae tattoo design. It is made in black ink. This design can be extended to the neck and chest as well. Women usually prefer it on their lips and chins, and you will rarely see a woman with a Moko Kauae tattoo on their foreheads or other parts of the body in today’s time.
Each Māori woman gets a tattoo that is a symbol of her tribe or is her spiritual symbol. This culture saw its resurgence in the 1990s for both women as well as men.
To show her spiritual symbol, the current New Zealand Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, who is also the first indigenous female appointed to that position wo has a lip and chin tattoo representing the Māori culture. She had also stated that she experiences pride in finding positive ways to represent and enable expression of the Māori and other cultures.
Nanaia Mahuta has a tattoo representing her culture on her lip and chin. Her lip has been tainted in black ink and there is a design on her chin probably from her tribe. This is a beautiful design and would make an amazing tattoo for anyone who wants to show off their tribe and heritage to the world.
Tā Moko Tattoo
In the Māori culture, the Whanau is a political unit, which is on a level below Hapu and Iwi. The word Whanau also means to give birth or be born. The term ‘Wahine’ is also used to describe Māori women. It has become a ‘rite of passage’ for these Māori women.
The tā moko is a form of a tattoo that reflects the ancestry and culture of people. This is an ancient Māori practice and has become relevant today as well. There are many people even today who are beginning to accept their true identities as Māori women.
This particular design is also a representation of the tribal culture of the wearer. This tattoo has been made with line work and dot work art. Black ink has been used to complete this beautiful piece of art form.
Tribute to Māori Women
There are several complex designs that depict the tribal identity of every man and woman. These tattoos are an attempt to bring back the living art form and and be a mark of the wearer’s genealogy. It tells a story that connects the indigenous people to their ancestors. This beautiful form of tattooing is a way to establish status of the women in their culture.
This beautiful tattoo has been made with fine line work in black ink, just like these designs were made traditionally with black natural made color. These tattoos demonstrate the history and heritage of the individual.
Oriini Kaipara Facial Tattoo
Oriini Kaipara made the headlines recently as she is the first woman to be working as a Television broadcaster, journalist, and translator who has a moko kauae on her face. She is also the first person with a ta moko to host a primetime news show which is on National television. Her talent and abilities have led her to represent Māori women on a national level, just like the New Zealand foreign minister. Over several centuries, this has happened for the first time.
Oriini has a beautiful lip and chin tattoo that she displays proudly on national television. Not only this, she also has a tattoo on the back of her left hand. Her face tattoo is made with black ink.
Moko Kauae Chin Tattoo
When Māori girls become women, that is also the time when they also get tattoos on their face. A ritual is held to complete this process. However, after their colonisation, these tattoos were associated with gangs and criminal activities, but soon the women today have brought back this tradition that culture and with pride.
The tattoo artist has made with design with line work art. Black ink has been used to complete this design. This is a beautiful piece of art work that can be changed according to the one wearing it. It can be extended on the neck or other elements can be added to it.
Māori Face Tattoo
Representing your culture and tribe on a national level is of great pride. Every tattoo does not represent only the tribe, it also displays a personal story of the individual. It could be related to their culture, or their ancestors.
This design is made on the chin of the person with black ink and line work art. This tattoo not only enhances the persons beliefs, but also enhances their beauty. A beautiful tattoo to honor these beautiful Māori women.
Maori Chin And Neck Tattoo
This beautiful Māori tattoo is a representation of different things all together. A story, status in society, culture, heritage, and everything else. This particular design has been extended on to the neck of the person. Line work art has been used to complete this design. Colors like black and blue ink have been used for this tattoo. This tattoo is a part of every māori woman and her heritage.
These tattoos are made on a very visible part of the body, the face. It can be a very strong commitment for any individual to get such a tattoo, therefore, you may ask the tattoo artist to give you a temporary tattoo and if you like the design, you can convert it into a permanent one. If you are a proud Maori woman, then why wait. Select your tattoo now! If you want to explore more designs, you may have a look at –
- Moko Kauae Face Tattoo
- Sukuna Tattoo
- Traditional Taonga Tattoo
- Traditional Māori Tattoos
- Oriini Kaipara Facial Moko
feature image from Pinterest
What is the meaning of a moko kauae tattoo?
A moko kauae tattoo is a traditional form of facial tattooing used by Māori women in New Zealand. It consists of a series of interlocking shapes, patterns and lines that are typically carved into the face with a chisel or other tool. The designs often have spiritual, cultural and tribal meanings associated with them, such as protection, ancestry and status. The moko kauae is believed to make the wearer more beautiful and is seen as a symbol of strength and identity. Today, many Māori women choose to get moko kauae tattoos as a way to honor their cultural heritage or express their individual identities.
Where did the tradition of moko kauae originate?
The tradition of moko kauae originated in pre-European Māori culture. The design and application of the tattoos were passed down through generations, with each distinct pattern having its own symbolic meaning. In addition to being a form of body art, the moko kauae was seen as a rite of passage for young Māori women, helping to identify them as adults within their tribal community. In recent years, the practice has seen a resurgence in popularity, with many Māori women getting moko kauae tattoos to celebrate and honor their cultural heritage.
How much does a moko kauae tattoo cost?
The cost of a moko kauae tattoo can vary greatly based on the size and complexity of the design, as well as the experience level of the artist. Generally speaking, traditional moko kauae tattoos typically cost anywhere from $100 to $500 or more. Some artists may also offer discounts for larger pieces or special occasions.