Masterpieces in Ink
Ta moko is more than aesthetics, it is writes the Los Angeles Times, a solemn declaration of Maori identity and dignity. With a little ink, some stinging pain and a helping hand from the ancestors, modern master of ta moko, Mark Kopua can heal a wounded soul. The centuries-old designs turn the faces and bodies of women and men into testaments to their identity, and offer spiritual healing. “I learned very quickly that moko was therapy for people,” Kopua said. “If you ail inside, and you get taken to a grandparent for advice, the elders are involved in your healing. This is very similar to that.” Now members of the urban mainstream including Maori police officers, teachers, office workers and businesspeople, are shrugging off any fear of being stared at or shunned by colleagues and are going for full-glory moko.