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December 29, 2012
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Should 'Westerners' get Maori artwork tattooed on their bodies?

:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Not sure if this belongs in the Philosophy and Religion forum (since we are discussing a derivative of faith), but yeah that's my question. Should Westerners, or anyone for that matter, outside of the Maori culture get Maori tattoos/Maori style tattoos?
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:iconhassanalkhajul:
HassanAlKhajul Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Just goes to show that there's a huge demographic out there of people who get tattoos because they look cool, not because they hold any personal significance to the people getting them.

Not everyone with a tattoo is a total tool... but these sorts of people are.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yep, they create a stereotype unfortunately.
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:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   General Artist
I don't believe in getting religious/cultural tattoos unless it is part of your religion/culture... I'm catholic, I'm not gonna go get a hamesh hand tattooed to me no matter how pretty some designs are.

But, people can do as they please; a lot of people get tattoos for no reason other than they are visually appealing and they want to.

So no, I don't think they should, but it's not like we can stop them.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Very true, I was discussing with other deviants that, it isn't exactly fair to tell people what they can/can't get inked.
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:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   General Artist
The way I see it, it may not necessarily be "right", but I wouldn't call it wrong either. It's a gray area topic. I don't think they do it to insult/harm/disrespect/etc. the other person/culture/religion/whatever. They just like it, like Chinese symbols, every fourth person with a tattoo has them... I know quite a few and none of them are Chinese, it's just a popular tattoo type. :shrug:
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeees. Very true, I think the vast majority of people just get the pretty design, but have no intent to insult (a tongue twister there)
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:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   General Artist
:nod: exactly.
and I bet :lol:
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:iconjigokuneko:
JigokuNeko Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Digital Artist
nope. These tattoos hold a cultural/religious significance to these people. When a westerner gets a tattoo they relegate it to "decoration" and "it just looks pretty to me" status while probably being ignorant of the history and meaning etc. This is cultural appropriation and insulting. The only way to be legit is to have the people whose culture you are interested in, grant you permission. Same goes for dressing up in halloween as indians, geishas etc or getting tattoos in kanji without speaking japanese. Personally, I'd be ashamed to have a tattoo like that and be seen by a japanese person, and I even speak the language!
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't think it's as much of an issue with kanji, because it's a writing system rather than a design of cultural significance.
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:iconjigokuneko:
JigokuNeko Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Digital Artist
eh, well, true, not as offensive. But it just looks weird, especially if the kanji is some sort of "meaningful sentence" that people just google-translated from english to japanese/chinese without knowing if it actually makes sense in the original language. Sometimes I see some hipster dudes/dudettes like that in the subway and try to make sense of their kanji tattoos.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, I read a little bit of kanji and it's funny. I was on a bus into town the other day and saw two guys discussing tattoos. One said, referring to a piece on his forearm, "this is the kanji symbol for my name in Japanese." It was the symbol for dog haha
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:iconjigokuneko:
JigokuNeko Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Digital Artist
haha, no way! :rofl:

Me and a classmate did that on purpose one time and I wrote my name purely on phonetic syllables so I ended up with "truly wicked field"
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
haha that's wicked :)

I'm looking to get the Seven Virtues of Bushido inked. First and foremost because it is a wonderful set of principles to live by, I stive to practise them in my life. But my friend is Japanese, I've been to and lived in Japan (for a brief stint of 4 months), and his father formally accepted me into the family; his lineage is descended from a samurai family, so I do have quite strong links to Japan and bushido embedded in my proposed tattoo :)
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:iconvanhir:
Vanhir Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Unless they actively want to look like douchebags.
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:icontuftedpuffin:
tuftedpuffin Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Maori? Probably not, based on my understanding. I once expressed interest in the Maori language and got shot down by some Maori people saying whites have no right to try to learn their language, along with some other related comments.

Talking about it with someone who was a huge promoter of Hawaiian culture, he said he isn't surprised as they tend to be pretty protective of that which has largely been taken away from them, while culturally Hawaiians, on the other hand, are more welcoming of those who wish to embrace their language, culture, and so forth.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
It's understandable, considering the amount of damage white colonisers did to their culture, all in the name of white 'civilisation'.
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:iconprosaix:
prosaix Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
'Should'? :lol:
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't follow...
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:iconprosaix:
prosaix Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
No. Never ever. Nope nope nope nope :p
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:iconendeavor-to-freefall:
It may be a little insulting or whatever but there's nothing that can be done about it, if these people find the design aesthetically pleasing and don't care about the meaning there's no way to stop them.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes very true. There isn't an effective way to enforce this. And anyway, I'm sure it would breach one's human rights to be disallowed the freedom to decorate one's body in a fashion of their choosing. Being insulting isn't illegal :)
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is true, as proven by the Westboro Baptist Church :3
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Do elaborate :)
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
But of course this is completely off topic now :p I only said it to confirm the 'being insulting isn't illegal' :p
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Because they're the most insulting people on the whole planet with what they do, and yet it's not illegal ):

JUST IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW, they picket outside dead children's/soldier's funerals, saying they died because 'GOD HATES FAGS' and stuff like that.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
By 'they' do you mean the Maori people, out of curiosity?
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
No o: the Westboro Baptist Church haha.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh I see haha. My mistake :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconlittlefishey:
littlefishey Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
I hate tattoos, but I think that even if they're symbolic of another culture/religion, you can't really stop people from finding them visually attractive and wanting them. 

But like I say, I think all tattoos are horrible.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
fair point
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:iconlittlefishey:
littlefishey Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
People have been having Chinese symbols tattooed on themselves for years without really knowing what they mean.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
yes you see it a lot, people who tattoo kanji on themselves without realising the meaning
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The actual type of tattoo and a tattoo that is inspired by said culture (in this case Maori style tattoos) are two different things. The original tattoo is symbolic and the other is just some knock-off which hardly has any sort of meaning to it other than the way it "looks". Pretty much, as ling as it's not the real thing, then it's okay for Westerners. :shrug:
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
yes, the actual practice of ta moko (carving grooves and ink into the skin) and thw symbols created thusly are very different to Maori-style tattoos. However, these knock-offs can (and often do) hold some sort o meaning to the Maori people
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's bound to happen, since those designs have been around for centuries. Some people who get tattoos just get tattoos because they like how the design looks and don't care about offending others with their choices. If a person is that concerned about misappropriating the tattoos or not wanting to disrespect the Maori culture, then they should do research.

Besides, the best thing to do is not get tattoos at all. =p
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Any non-Maori with a Maori tattoo is misappropriating, as they are specific to the ancestry of Maori (:
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Maori style =/= an actual Maori tattoo, especially if they look more "tribal" than anything. =p
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Guess [link] would be ok (:

Just as long as it's not a ta moko, or a cheap copy D:
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That was my point. As long as it's not ta moko, it's okay. :P
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Ah a very wise point haha :) avoid the confusion and/or offence by not getting tattoos. I'm hooked on tattoos though; I have small Decepticon symbol on my ankle from Transformers, with plans for much more ink. But research into the meaning behind designs is of utmost priority to me.
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't like tattoos and I'm not planning on getting any. :dummy:
If you want to do something, at least try to get it right. :nod:
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I've spent the last few years thinking of designs, researching their meaning in culture, and then deciding what they mean to me (since I'm the one getting them inked); I spend a lot of time making sure I do get it right.
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:icon0rg:
0rg Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Who cares?
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
me :3
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:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Interface Designer
I don't think anyone 'should' do it. I won't force anyone. But if they want to, sure.
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
that's true, it isn't something that can be enforced per say. I think it falls down to a person's understanding of the cultural significance of a Maori tattoo and their morality regarding that
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:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Interface Designer
When we were at a beach in New Zealand (I was about 8, in fact I celebrated my 8th or 9th birthday there, not sure which one) we'd use mud to create the illusion of maori-like tattoos on our body... I think my parents still have a few pictures of us going all "RAWR " like that :giggle:
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:iconan-epitaph-to-truth:
An-Epitaph-To-Truth Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
haha that sounds like fun :)
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