The Maori people along with many other Polynesian people believed that a persons life force or ‘mana’ is displayed through their tattoo. The Ta moko a Maori form of facial tattoo was given to Maori tribesman to indicate their heritage, decent and status in the tribe. They were also given to signify their exploits and great events in their lives.
Maori tattoos have made somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, with the tribal style of tattooing becoming increasingly popular. However, it is never ok to use a moko pattern for your own design, as they are individual to a Maori person and to replicate them is the ultimate form of plagiary and a direct insult to Maori people.