Te Puia offers new window to tā moko

Visitors to Te Puia in Rotorua will be able to take away a permanent reminder of their visit with a new tā moko studio opening today.

This will add to the institute's existing disciplines: woodcarving and weaving. Accomplished tā moko artists, Arekatera Maihi and Jacob Tautari, will lead the studio. 

NZMACI tumu whakairo rākau me te tā moko, Arekatera Maihi says there has been the desire to create a tā moko experience for some time, but it needed to be done with the right level of integrity and in a purpose-designed space - something the new studio achieves. 

He says, "New Zealand has been experiencing a resurgence in tā moko for some time now, with increased demand from Māori and non-Māori. There has also been additional international demand for the art form."

"Tā moko has been a popular element of NZMACI's Tuku Iho | Living Legacy exhibition - an international cultural engagement and events programme - offshore, and it is now a privilege to be able to offer tā moko at home on site here at Te Puia."

Manuhiri will be able to gain an insight into the art form through a viewing window, which can be closed for privacy if needed.

"The design of each moko is selected through a kōrero (conversation) with the artist, with each symbol representing an aspect of that person's story," says Tā Moko artist James Tautari.
Tautari says educating people about tā moko is an important part of the process.
Te Puia sales and marketing manager, Kiri Atkinson-Crean says NZMACI is mandated to protect, promote and perpetuate Māori arts, crafts and culture, and the tā moko studio adds another dimension to the richness on offer at Te Puia.