Monday, September 21, 2009

Moko? Maybe Not...

Mark Kopua at work A leading Maori tattooist is laying an official complaint after recently being rejected from a bar for having tattoos. Christchurch's Bourbon Bar bans gang 'tats', but tattoo artist Mark Kopua says his tattoos are cultural, and he wants people to understand the difference between cultural and gang tattoos. Mr.Kopua's picture shows his traditional tattoos – hardly offensive.
What I dislike intensely are full-face tattoos. As I understand it, Maori facial moko defined a warrior blooded in battle, a facial story of his origins... striking and handsome in historical context, but has it any place in modern society? I find a full-face moko very threatening – the “Don't Fuck With Me!” attitude of this All Black moko advertising conveys violence, anger, hate. Why would you want that etched permanently on your countenance?
Actually, any tattooing turns me right off: from a snake emerging from a woman's nether regions to a tiny discreet butterfly, huge squirls over shoulders to a lover's name on a breast...not my cup of tea!
But then, just like this blog, tattoos (often called "body art" these days, to encourage social acceptance) are...maybe his mother loves him! very personal. Just be aware if considering one that, when sporting tats like this charming skinhead, your personal viewpoint may not be shared by the general populous!
Here's some reading if you're interested: Myth and The Moko and Bringing The Story of Moko To Salem.

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