The Maori people of New Zealand came from eastern Polynesia in waves of canoes sometime between 1250 and 1300 AD. Over the centuries, they developed a rich and complex society that included a fierce and terrifying warrior culture. Europeans described the Maori warriors as large men, although women could be warriors as well, who had extensive facial tattoos. While they looked fearsome, their intense physical appearance is only the start of what made these warriors so terrifying.
10. Their Tattoos Were Carved In
Tattoos held a special significance to the Maori people and both men and women would get them. The most common place to get them was the face, but some Maori people were known to get their necks, torsos, and arms tattooed as well. Most Maoris started getting their tattoos during adolescence.
Each design was unique, but generally they were in the shape spirals. They were tattooed on during a ceremony, and each line showed the person’s bravery and strength. After all, these tattoos weren’t put on using a needle gun. Instead, they were carved into the skin using a mallet and a chisel that was made from a bone and the ink was made from ash and fat. This left the skin with grooves like a record, instead of being smooth like modern tattoos.