January 07, 2013
Tā moko the souvenir that endures
The Lonely Planet travel guide says tattooing with a Māori flavour makes the North Island of New Zealand the second best place in the world to get some holiday ink.
Aotearoa rates just behind Wat Bang Phra in Thailand and ahead of travel spots such as Fez in Morocco, Yokohama in Japan and Las Vegas in the United States.
The guide says ta moko represent a person's identity, origin and bravery, creating a history on the skin for those who know how to read it.
Auckland and Rotorua are tipped as centres for the art form.
Marie Hodge from Rotorua’s Te Hira Toi Ta Moko and Tattoo says as many as half a dozen tourists a week are booking in for ta moko-type tattoos.
While many French, German and Swiss tourists are keen on getting something unique that is not available in their own countries, there are also many Australian-based Kiwis who come back to have work done.
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