Ta Moko face tattoos are Maori in origin and represent the tribal history and social standing of the wearer. The popularity of the tattoo declined during the 20th century, but as of 2014, it has made a comeback and is now seen as displaying one's pride in Maori culture.
The process of getting a Ta Moko face tattoo is very painful, not only because of the location of the tattoo but also because of the sharp needles used to inject ink. Ta Moko tattoos can be inked anywhere on the body, but the head is considered the most sacred part of the body. For Maoris, Ta Moko face tattoos are the greatest cultural statement a person can make.