MAORI TATTOO: FROM SKIN TO MARKET


This is not a common article on the MAORI tattoo. Everyone knows how well known the tattoo is and the meaning behind it. Our goal here is to inform you about the values of Maori. A value that exceeds the skin and ink, and finally arrives at other contexts.




Black and marked traits, true symbols of strength and power, Maori tattoos have an ancient history inextricably linked to Polynesian tradition and culture. Not a simple dress but a real sacred rite, reserved exclusively for nobles and warriors of the tribes.

Surely, the choice of the star system like Rihanna to tattoo Maori influenced the success of these tattoos.


Symbols of strength, loyalty and faith.


If we think about it, in marketing these three words are the precious goals to achieve. Companies have always found in cultural contexts symbols to adapt and take possession of them according to their logic.

That’s why many brands from different business sectors add Maori lines to their graphic archive: packaging and products and leaving aside the beauty of the lines and the image of the tattoo.






The concept of cultural appropriation is always the subject of debate, that is, whether it would be correct to adapt the Maori and all its meaning to the logic of the market.


It is very important to be aware of the symbol, that behind simple lines there are people, culture and traditions.


Cultural contamination must pay close attention to the original culture, a culture that unfortunately found itself oppressed.


In fact, as the visibility of the moko grew, in New Zealand strong controversy arose. Mike Tyson was accused of not knowing anything about the Maori after he had tattooed part of his face. Even today, it is considered disrespectful.


The term Maori also means a cohesive group, belonging and being part of a community that shares language, tradition and culture. This is the most important value, and it is for this reason that brands and products dress Maori. We recognize ourselves with the same sign, we convince ourselves of the same values.

The choice of brands, therefore, is to acquire in their marketing a very known effective cultural system as the tattoo that shares its values. We are free to express ourselves as we see fit, we are free to take inspiration from historical symbols, we are free to mix different arts but let us not forget that this is a great privilege with a lot of responsibility.











Article by

Vivian Di Lorenzo



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