Permanent Moko

Permanent Moko

The Idea

When I booked our trip to New Zealand, I knew I wanted to schedule some time to get some Maori ink. I had done some research and found Otautahi Tattoo in Auckland. They had an artist named Jordan who seemed perfect for what I wanted.

The waiting area at Otautahi Tattoo

When I walked in, I had the idea to just get a cuff on my right forearm. After we spoke for a little while, he started drawing his thoughts on my arm. 30 minutes later, I had the framing for a pretty amazing design. I figured, if I am going to be halfway around the world, getting an authentic Maori tattoo, I should just go with the flow.

Jordan filled in one area to show me what it would look like
Preview of the work to come
He made sure to work his design in with my current tattoos

The Process

Now, I have a lot of tattoos. I have sat for many hours under the needle. But I was not prepared for this level of intense needle work. Having your whole forearm worked on with a nine-pin needle is very intense. Jordan did a great job of planning it out area by area to keep the focus in a smaller region. At the end of the day, it was a lot of ink.

Jordan is a magician with his needle

The Tattoo

As he was tattooing me, Jordan took the time to explain the significance of each symbol. the tattoo has a flow about it that references travel. Of course it has my reference to three… he put three sets of three arrows in the middle. He also added some birds for travel safety. I am very impressed with the whole design. I was worried about appropriating his culture, but he assured me that the way I was going about it, trying to respect the culture and honour it, showed that I was in this for the correct reasons.

Jordan and I posing after the torture… err…. tattoo session
This was representative of the traditional Maori masks
Honestly the most painful part of all the tattoos I have gotten
This shows the flow and motion of the tattoo
You can see the arrows at the top by the bear’s ear

Overall, I was very impressed by the quality of work that Jordan executed. I would recommend this shop to anyone visiting Auckland.

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