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Tā moko – Māori tattooing

by Rawinia Higgins

He kura mahora te tā moko ki te takiwā o Te Moananui-a-Kiwa, ka tupu haere ōna āhuatanga i reira, ā, hua rawa mai ko te toi moko rongonui a te Māori. Ahakoa te rehurehutanga o te moko i te tirohanga kanohi, kua tītoko ake anō te tā moko i te kanohi tāne me te moko kauae o te wahine.


Origins of tā moko

Te ahurea tā moko Māori

I horapa whānui te tā moko i Te Moananui-a-Kiwa, engari he rerekē ngā tikanga a te Māori. Ki Tahiti me Hāmoa he tatau; ki Rarotonga he tatatau; ki Hawaii he kakau, ka mutu ka whakamahia ngā uhi (he rite ki te heru) hei wero i te wai ngārahu ki raro iho i te kiri. Engari ka whakawhanake te Māori i ōna uhi kia hōhonu ake te haehae i ngā awaawa o te kiri. He tikanga motuhake tēnei nō te Māori. Ko te koru hoki kāore e kitea ki ētahi atu takiwā o Te Moananui-a-Kiwa.

Ngā moko tōmua

Ahakoa ko ‘moko’ te ingoa mō te katoa o ngā kirituhi, he maha ngā tūmomo moko mō ngā wāhanga rerekē o te tinana. I tipu ake ētahi moko tōmua i te tangihanga, arā, ka haehae  ngā wāhine i te kiri ki te tūhua, ki te tapa angaanga rānei, ā, ka pēhia ngā tūnga-ā-kiri ki te pungarehu. He rite tonu te haehae o te kiri i te tangihanga me te pēpehi i te pungarehu ki te kiri. Nō konei kua noho te moko hei tohu maharatanga ki te tau kua ngaro.

Te tikanga o te moko

I tai neherā ka pā te moko ki te kanohi o te tāne anake, ā, ko te moko o te wahine he moko kauae. Arā tonu ngā ingoa tōtika mō ia wāhanga o te tinana. Nāwai ka tau te kupu ‘moko’ ki ngā tānga katoa o runga i te tinana.

Te tipunga o te moko

I kite ngā Pākehā tuatahi i te moko kurī – arā he momo moko e mau ana i ngā tauira o ngā toropae e toru, me ngā huapae e toru. Taro kau iho ka ngaro tērā moko, engari ka āhua kētia ki te koihanga. I te tau 1769 ko te tohungatā a Kāpene Kuki ko Sydney Parkinson tērā ka kite i te tātauira moko kurī i runga pūhoro. Waihoki ki ētahi atu toi o te ao, ākene pea ka whanake i te pūhoro i te moko kurī, kātahi rawa ka hua ko te toi moko waiwaiā a te Māori.

Ngā pūtakenga mai i ngā kōrero tuku iho

Ka takea mai hoki te tā moko i ngā atua. E ai ki te whakaaro a ētahi ka whai pānga te moko ki a Rūaumoko, te tama atua kahukahu a Ranginui rāua ko Papatūānuku. Ko Rūāumoko anō te atua o te rū whenua me ngā puia; koia tērā ‘ka rū au moko i te whenua’.

Ko Mataora rāua ko Niwareka

Tērā tētahi tipuna i noho ki Te Ao Tūroa, ko Mataora tōna ingoa. I moe a Mataora i te wahine o Rarohenga, ko Niwareka tōna ingoa. Nō tētahi rā ka patua e Mataora tāna wahine, ā, ka hoki māwherangi atu ki tōna kāinga ake i Rarohenga. He āhuatanga te patu wahine kāore i kitea ki Rarohenga. Nā te hinapōuri me te aroha ka whakatika atu ki te kimi i tana wahine.

Nō te putanga atu ki Rarohenga ka tūtaki ia ki te matua o Niwareka ki te tohunga tā moko a Uetonga; Ka noho a Mataora whakamīharo atu ai ki te mahi a te tohunga tā moko; i tōna ao, he rangitahi noa te wā e noho ai te tānga ki runga i te kanohi. Ka kīia tēnei momo tā he whakairo tuhi, he hopara makaurangi rānei, ā, ka mahia mai ki te pungarehu, ki te uku kikorangi, ki te karamea. Kātahi ka ūkui a Uetonga i te kanohi o tana hunaonga hei whakaatu i te koretake o tēnei momo kirituhi.

Kātahi ka pātai a Mataora kia tāia he moko mōna. Taro rawa ka rongohia te ngau o te mamae, ā, ka inoi atu ia mō Niwareka.

Hei hoa matenga

Ka tīkina mai a Niwareka e tōna tuahine, engari nā te tūpuhitanga o ngā karu i te tāinga o te moko, kīhai i mātauria tana tāne. Heoi nō tōna whātaretanga ki te korowai i mahia mō tōna hoa, ka mōhio pū ko tōna hoa tērā, ā, ka mihi, ka tangi rāua.

Nō te mahutanga o te moko, ka tono a Mataora ki a Niwareka kia hoki rāua ki Te Ao Tūroa. Ka oati ia ki a Uetonga, e kore ia e patu i tana kōtiro, inā rā e kore tōna moko e maunu i a ia. Hei koha ki tā rāua wehenga, ka tukuna te mātauranga o te tā moko ki a Mataora.

Te whakatipu i te tā moko

Kātahi ka whakatū a Mataora i te whare tuahi o Po-ririta. Ko te tangata tuatahi i tāia e Mataora ko Tū-tangata. Kāore i angitu tēnei whakamātau tuatahi, ā, ka mōhiotia taua tangata ko Tū-tangata-kino.

Ka ngana tonu a Mataora kia eke rā anō ia ki te tihi o te toi moko. Kātahi ka pūkengatia e ia ngā akoako i ākona i a ia i Rarohenga; arā te pōngiangia, te pīhere, te ngū me te tīwhana. Arā atu ngā tā moko i hua ake i te mahi whakairo.


Tā moko technology

Wai ngārahu

I te taenga ki te nehenehe nui o Aotearoa me ōna momo rākau kāore i kitea ki Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa; ka tipu te tā moko me ngā hangarau hou mō te tā moko. He tukanga atamai te hanga i te wai ngārahu; arā he hanga ngārahu i ngā tūmomo rākau kāpia. Ko ētahi anō ingoa mō te wai ngārahu he māpara, he kāpara (he awe kāpara rānei), he kauri kāpia, he ahi tā moko (he ruangārehu rānei).

Te paura me te waituhi Iniana

I te maunga o te pū ki Aotearoa, ka whakamahia te puehu  matā nā te panoni o te tae ki te kikorangi; i te tānga ki te kiri. Nāwai ka riro te waituhi Iniana; ā, ka whakakotahi ki ngā wai ngārahu tūturu a te Māori.

He mea whakamahi tētahi momo umu, kātahi ka tāuwhia ki te harakeke me te toetoe hei pākati i te pungarehu. Ko ēnei pungarehu ka kohia; ā, whenumia atu ki te hinu, ki te wai rānei o te hīnau, o te māhoe, o te tī, o te kāretu me te poroporo; kia kōpē ai. Ka kīia tēnei mahi he whakataerangi. Whai muri rawa taupokina ai ki te kiri kiore, kiri manu rānei kia kore ai e maroke. He mea waiho anō te wai ngārahu ki ngā ipu whakairo hoata, rākau rānei.

Ka naomia hoki te āwheto (āwheto hōtete rānei) hei kīnaki mō te mahi i te wai ngārahu. Ka tahuna pērā i te rākau kāpia, ā, ko aua hinu, wai anō rā ka whakamahia hei hanga i te wai ngārahu. Ka hanumia anō te wai māhoe hei whakauriuri i te wai ngārahu mō te tā moko.

Uhi

He uhi te whao mō te tā i te moko; arā, mō te whakaawaawa i te kiri kia hōhonu ai. He āhuatanga tēnei ka kitea anake ki te ao Māori. He mea patupatu ēnei moko ki runga ki te kiri kanohi; ānō nei he rākau e whakairoirotia ana.

He taonga whakairoiro te uhi i hangaia tuatahitia ki ngā kōiwi manu tai. Ka kīia ēnei ko Te Uhi a Mataora. Ki ētahi rohe ka kīia ko Te Uhi a Toroa. He kōrero tēnei ka hoki ki te manu toroa, ā, ka tangohia mai ana wheua hei hanga i te uhi. Waihoki ki ō rātou uri o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, anō nei he heru ētahi uhi, ā, ko tēnei ka wero i te wai ngārahu ki roto i te kiri. Ka kīia tēnei momo uhi he uhiu matarau. He papatahi te mata o te uhi kōhiti.

Te tā i te moko

E ai ki a Te Pēhi, tuatahi, ka tuhia te moko ki te kanohi mā te whakamahi i te ngārahu me te wai. I te whaonga o te moko, ka toua te uhi ki te wai ngārahu, kātahi ka patupatua ki te kuru iti, ki te tātā aruhe. He ‘māhoe’ tēnei kuru, kei tōna mata anō tētahi wāhanga mō te ūkui i te toto. Ko tētahi atu mahi a te tohunga, he tākai i tōna mati ki te iho o te harakeke hei ūkui anō i te toto.

Kāre i ārikarika ngā momo tūāhua tā i te wai ngārahu. Ki tā Horatio Robley he mea pēpēhi te wai ngārahu ki roto ki te kiri mā te whakamahi i te muka (harakeke) kua oti noa te tou ki roto ki te wai ngārahu. Ko James Cowan i kōrero mō te tātā rākau i toua ki te wai ngārahu kātahi ka tuhia ki runga ki te moko.

Te whakamahi i ngā nēra, okaoka, korohete hoki

Ko ngā uhi maitai tuatahi ka hangā ki ngā nera tapawhā koikoi, i ngā hupa rino rānei. Ko te tohunga tā moko o Mangatāwhiri, ko Anaru Makiwhara. I hangā ōna uhi ki ngā maitai o ngā korohete a ngā wāhine.

Ngā uhi maitai

Mai ka tau tuatahi te Pākehā ka rerekē haere te ao Māori, engari mau tonu iho ētahi tūāhua ahakoa te hounga mai o ngā hangarau hou. Mō te horopaki o te tā moko, ka tauiratia te whānui haere ake o te here i ngā whao (chisels) ki ngā kakau uhi, me te kaha whakamahi i te mata papatahi.

Waihoki ki te mahi whakairo, ka tohunga ake te wairua auaha o ngā moko i te raweketanga ki ngā whao maitai. Nō konei ka waiwaiā ngā kamo i te tirohanga atu ki te toi Māori. Ka mutu ka hōhonu ake ngā awaawa, ka pūkengatia ake ngā hoahoa. Heoi, he nui ake te maringi o te toto, ā, kei pirau hoki te kiko.

Ngira

Nō te Pakanga Tuatahi o te Ao kua whakakapi te ngira tuitui i te whao mō te tā moko; ka tere ake te tānga, kāore i mamae, ā, he tere ake te mahu. Nō konei ka whakamāui ake te moko, kāti i ngā tau 1930 e tino ora ana te tā moko, ahakoa ngā hahani a ētahi ki te whakamahinga o te ngira. Ko te āhua ia i ahu mai tēnei whakapae i ngā uri o rātou mā i tāia ki te uhi maitai me te uhi rino.

Kei runga noa atu te ngira mō te tā i te kiri, ka mutu i ēnei rā kei ngā mīhini tā moko te ngira e kitea ana. Ko tēnei te whao pai ake e whakamahia ana e ngā tohunga tā moko nā rātou tēnei taonga i whakaora i te pito o te rautau 1900.


Tohunga tā moko

He mahinga ngaio te tukanga o te tā moko. Nā te maringi o te toto ka whai mana te tangata tae rawa ki te tohunga tā moko.

Te tono i te tohunga tā moko

Pēnā kāore he tohunga tā moko o te hapū, kua tono ia ki tētahi tohunga nō waho. Ka whakamana te hapū i te tohunga, ā, ka kohaina ki te taonga, arā, ki te patu, ki te korowai, ki te pounamu, ki te inati. Pērā hoki i ngā tohunga toi o Ūropi, ka rongonui te tohunga i āna mahi, ā, ka teitei ake ngā koha mōna. Ka kitea mai rātou hei whetū tārake i runga i te tau o ngā whakairoiro me te atamai o ngā hoahoa.

Tapu

He tino tapu te mahi tā moko, ā, nō te nōhanga ki te tā i te moko ka kīia tērā ko ‘te ahi tā moko’. He whakaatu tērā i te tino tapu o te tā moko. Nā whai anō ka wehea mārika te tohunga tā moko ki te mahi i tana mahi, ka mutu kei waho kē atu i te kāinga. I ngā wā ō mua ka whakatū te hapū i tētahi whare hei wharau i te tohunga tā moko me ana mahi. Nā te rangitahi o tōna noho ka āhei te tahu i te whare hei whakanoa i te papa.

Hei tohu i te tīmatanga o te mahi tapu, ka tā te tohunga i te whao (wai ngārahu mai, kore wai ngārahu mai) ki te pakihiwi mauī o te tangata whiwhi. Ka whakamahia anō te ngongo hei whāinu i te tangata e tāia ana ki te moko. Ina ra i taua wā kei te tūpuhi tōna kanohi.

Tame Poata

Ko te tohunga tā moko rongonui o ngā tau 1930 ko Tame Poata. I takahi ia i te nukuroa ki te tā i te moko. Nō tana tīmatanga ka whakamahia te uhi, engari ka kitea he uaua rawa ki te rāwekeweke, ā, i tahuri ai ki te mau i te ngira. I tāpirihia te ngira ki te tā rākau, anō nei he penerākau. E ono ngā ngira ka whakamahia e Poata, engari nāwai ka whāiti ki te whakamahi i ngā ngira e rua. Ka toutoungia te ngira ki te wai ngārahu kia pauku rā anō ngā miro kātene i runga i te kakau. Mā te whatiwhati tere i tōna ringa i te tānga iho, marere kau noa te wai ki roto ki te kiri. E rua haora te roa ka oti te moko, ā, e toru rangi noa iho ka mahu te kiri.


Moko and status

Te mana me te tapu

Ko te moko te tohu o te mana o te tangata, ā, nō te tononga rā anō i te tohunga tā moko ka kitea tōna whai hiranga. Ko te moko anō te whakatinanatanga o te mana, arā, i te tuhinga o ngā rangatira i ō rātou moko hei tāmoko i te Tiriti o Waitangi i te tau 1840. Nā te mana me te tapu o te toi moko ka whai mana ake ai te tangata whiwhi.

Ngā mōhiotanga o tauiwi mō te moko

Nā te whakamiha o te ao Pākehā ki te toi moko me te moko, ka mahara te Pākehā ko ngā rangatira anake ka tāia ki te moko. I te tirohanga atu o te Pākehā, he iwi toa te Māori, ā, mei tāia pokeretia te tangata ka whakaarotia ia he tipua. Engari mena he tapu rawa tētahi nō te kāwai ariki, kīhai i whakaaetia tērā kia mau moko.

Wahine whai mana

Kāore te katoa o ngā wāhine i whiwhi i te moko kauae. He tapu rawa ētahi. Kai rawekehia te mana me te tapu o ēnei momo tāngata. Ko tētahi tangata tapu rawa kāore i tukuna kia mau moko ko Mihi Kōtukutuku, o roto o Te Whānau-a-Apanui me Ngāti Porou. Nōna e rangatahi ana ka puta ake ētahi tohunga tā moko nō Te Arawa ki Te Tai Rāwhiti ki te tā i ngā tamāhine ki te moko kauae. Engari kāore i tāia a Mihi nā te nui o te mana o tōna whakapapa me te tapu rawa o tōna toto.

Ngā tohunga kore moko

Kāore ētahi tohunga i tāia ki te moko nā te tapu rawa. Ko te tohunga te kauwaka ki te atua. He rite tonu te wā ka whāiti te moko ki ērā i noho tawhiti i te atua.


Contemporary moko

Te toi moko me te mokamokai

I ngā tau tōmua o te noho Pākehā, ka hokohoko haeretia ngā mokamokai hei puiaki whakahira, hei taonga hoki mā te hunga kaikohi taonga. He nui te utu mō te ūpoko kotahi, ā, he wā tērā ka whāia te hunga mau moko mō ō rātou ūpoko te take. Nā reira i paheke ai te tā moko. Ka kōhuru anō te Māori i ngā mōkai, kia tāia matetia mō te hoko. E rongo whānuitia ana te mokamokai huri noa, ā, ka whakataetae ngā whare taonga nui o te ao ki te hoko i ētahi.

Nō ngā tau 1980 ka ārahi a Dalvanius Prime i te whakahokinga o ngā mokamokai e mau ana i te hunga o tāwāhi. Ka whawhaitia te pakanga, ā, tae rā anō ki te whakahokinga o ngā  mokamokai ki roto rawa i Te Papa Tongarewa. E kī ana rātou he toi moko, arā, hei wāhi tonu ki te whakaora anō i tō rātou mana.

Moko kauae

Nō te māramatanga ki te whakaora i te tā moko, ka nanahu te taikākā ki te whakapakari i tēnei toi Māori mā te akiaki i te hunga wāhine ki te mau i te moko. He āhuatanga tēnei i pūrangiaho matā ai te marea ki te mana me te tuakiri ake o te iwi.

E ora tonu ana te moko kauae tehe i te tekau tau 1980 otirā ngā kuikuia i tāia ki te moko i ngā tekau tau 1920 me 1930. Mā te aha i hopukina katoatia ā rātou māramatanga ki runga rīpene, ki rō puka hoki hei tirohanga mō te hunga o ēnei rā.

Te whakatakē i te moko

Kāre ētahi e rata ki te moko. I te tau 2007, ka panaia a Tunahau Kohu i tētahi karapu i Ōtautahi mō tōna moko te take. Nō muri rawa ka whakapāha te kaiwhakahaere o te whare. E ai ki a Ngāhuia Te Awekōtuku, te kaituhi o tētahi puka tā moko, he maha ngā tāngata ka whakatakē i a ia me tōna moko kauae. ‘Ka āwangawanga te tangata i tōku moko mēnā kei runga au i te arapiki, kei roto rānei au i te hokomaha … Ahakoa he ngaio ahau nō tētahi reanga noa atu ahau, ā, he tau tonu ōku kākahu. Ka mau kē te wehi i te tirohanga atu.'1

Te whakaoranga o te moko

I ngā tau o 1970 me 1980 ka tīmata ētahi kēnge ki te mau moko. Tekau tau i muri iho ka tū ko Tame Iti hei kanohi mō te whakaoranga anō o te mau moko i runga anō i te horopaki tōrangapū.

Nō konei ka kaha ake te reanga hou ki te mau moko hei tohu i te tuakiritanga Māori. Ko ētahi ka tā i te tinana hei tohu i te tuakiringa Māori, iwi hoki. Kua puea ake anō ngā tohunga tā moko o te ao Māori.

Nō te nanaioretanga ki te whakapuaki i te tuakiri Māori kua ora anō te mana o te tā moko i te Māori me te tangata whenua hoki.

Footnotes

Hononga, rauemi nō waho

More suggestions and sources


How to cite this page: Rawinia Higgins, 'Tā moko', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/ta-moko/print (accessed 19 September 2019)

Story by Rawinia Higgins, published 5 Sep 2013