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Maori Tattoos


This week we are learning about Ta Moko - Maori tattoos. Ta Moko means tattoo art in Maori. Often these tattoos covered the whole face and were a symbol of rank, social status, power and prestige for the Maori people. Ta Moko is a visual language which connects the person who has it to his “whakapapa”. Whakapapa is the family. 


Activity 1

Have a look at the information below to learn more.

Can you answer these quiz questions?

1. What is the main difference between the moko, the face tattoo, of the Maori men and women?

 A) There is no difference.

 B) Women usually only had their lips and chins tattooed.

 C) The tattooes were different colors.

 D) Women were not allowed to have tattooes.


2. All Maori mokos, or face tattoos, are basically the same pattern.




3. The Moko design must be symmetrical. 




4. When a Maori had to sign something they...

A) Wrote their name

B) Drew their Moko

C) Drew their signature

D) Used a finger print

Activity 2

Can you design your own Moko?

Using the template below, design some tattoos using Koru and similar shapes like the other Moko on this page? 

Complete at least 2 templates, and then have a think about which parts you really like and would like to use on your finished piece. 

Here's some examples for inspiration

Here's the template you can print, or you can draw your own face.

Activity 3

You can either print off/draw a face template, OR take a black and white photo of your face and print it. Once you've done this, add your tattoo designs to the face. Take your time, be accurate and careful. 

Don't forget to show us your Moko! We would love to see them!

School Illustration