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Hutt siblings continue Ta Moko tradition

Jul 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

TA MOKO: Joni Brooking and Henare Brooking at 24-hour moko marathon in Hutt Valley

TATTOO studio Ta Moko in Lower Hutt has celebrated Matiriki, the Maori New Year, with a twenty-four-hour  moko  marathon.

Manager of the event Henare Brooking invited three other artists from the Moko Collective which is made up of established tā moko artists from around New Zealand.

Tommy Clark from Auckland, Tamararo Raihania from Hastings, and Hohua Mohi from Rotorua were involved in the event.

“I thought that the marathon was something different and fun, and a way to get together with friends in the collective,” says Mr Brooking.

Joni Brooking who co-owns the studio with her brother says Ta Moko is a family business which opened on Waitangi weekend two-and-a-half years ago.

She says people coming to the marathon are supporting a local business as well.

Ms Brooking said they were brought up in an artistic environment. Their dad was a carver and both parents were involved with weaving and the restoration of the carving from the Marae.

“It’s been real good working with my brother. It’s lonely doing it alone and you have someone to bounce ideas off,” says Ms Brooking.

Within the 24 hours of the marathon, the team of four artists got through around 80 moko altogether, each one taking half an hour to complete and costing $50.

“This event allows people to get a piece of permanent art for an affordable price,”says Ms Brooking.

First time customer, Cheri Herd, had one of the permanent art pieces inked into her skin to celebrate Matariki and said was “very happy” with the result.

As well as being specialists in the design and application of tā moko and making them individual, they also offer Mokopapa wananga otherwise known as facial moko.

“Body tattoos outweigh the number of how many facial tattoos get done,” says Ms Brooking.

People could choose from seven designs created by Mr Brooking, each of them symbolising one of the stars in the Matariki constellation.

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