Process for receiving Tāmoko
The first stage in receiving tāmoko is the basic desire. It can take years to reach a decision about when, where on your body and from whom to receive tāmoko. After you have been gifted these insights the next step is to get in touch with the tāmoko artist. We find this usually happens via the e-mail, from our website www.tahaa.co.nz, over the phone or in person. From here you can start having a conversation about your desires for your tāmoko and what you want represented in it, whether it be whakapapa, dreams and aspirations, stories or all of it. We are happy for you to send us your information by e-mail before our initial meeting. However some people prefer to talk in person with the artist.
After establishing contact with us and having a korero about what you want your tāmoko to represent, the next stage is the design of your piece. This usually takes place after the kōrero (conversation) and directly before the application (that is ink going into skin). The design is drawn directly onto the skin in pen before proceeding straight to the application stage. Some people ask that the design be drawn before the scheduled appointment for getting their tāmoko. However we prefer this to happen when you come to receive your tāmoko as it is easier to determine how a design will work and flow with your natural body shape if we can draw it straight onto the area.
So with your design drawn on in pen, we have a karakia to start the session and then get straight into it. We also finish with a karakia to complete the work.
The legal age to receive tāmoko is 18 years old. We do have a provision for people younger than this who wish to receive tāmoko. The person needs to have the consent of their parents or legal guardians. A consent form is supplied to all recipients to be signed by the appropriate parties before any work is to commence.