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About Tatau/Tattoo in the Cook Islands 

Tatatau or Tatau in the Cook Islands dates back previous to the introduction of Christianity to the islands.

In many cases our origin of Tatau is told in the story of “Ina and the shark” Where in a fit or rage Ina, stomps down onto various fish and sea life, resulting in them being permanently marked. (I'm summarising)
Not tattooed specifically. However, if we go back and remember that the Cook Islands were only collectively grouped together by Captain James Cook who was the first European to arrive on the islands around 1773-1777 and originally called them the Hervey Islands, later named the Cook Islands in honor of Captain James Cook .

Before then we had traditional names and were most likely individual identities.

Though some of our islands lay close to each other some are so wide spread in todays times they would more than likely be mapped into the islands of Samoa, or Tokelau. This is made obvious by the language similarities.

In the case of islands such as Mangaia, we know that the age of this island out dates any of that in the pacific with stories of early arrivals from Nuku Hiva and its neighbouring islands. Therefore oratorical teachings of the practice of actually embedding the skin with pigments could have quite possibly come from these visitors.

Well its food for thought anyway.  


Pacific Ink - Stormy Tekura Marumaru Okianga Kara 

Kia Ora, Kia Orana

Ko au te uri o Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga

Ngāti Koroki Kahukura


Ngāti Kaena ki Rarotonga

Ngāti Vara me Ngāti Tane ki Mangaia

E no’o ana au ki Wakatu (Nelson)

Ko Stormy Tekura Marumaru Okianga Kara tōku ingoa

My name is Stormy and along with my family we have recently relocated here to Nelson.

I’m a kaitāmoko, Kaiwhakairo, Tangata Tātatau and all around haututu.

I specialise in both Cook Islands Māori tatau, Aotearoa Māori Moko and Polynesian Tattoos.

My passion lies in bringing your Whakapapa, Papa’anga, Genealogy or life stories into artworks for your skin.

I personally love doing memorial/remembrance pieces.

We are very family orientated and over these uncertain times we have found safe ways to keep not only myself and my Whānau safe, but also you and yours.

Before the pandemic I was based at home in Rarotonga working from my studio Kareha Polynesian Art Studio.

This will be my 17th year in this mani and I am grateful everyday for all it has brought me and my family and we look forward to the day we are able to return home to Rarotonga.

New things I’ll be implementing in the studio will be Rapid Antigen Tests for all bookings, regardless of vaccination status.

We will also be accepting Afterpay and Layby payment plans.

We look forward to welcoming everyone near and far. 
Dates for guests spots in other studios will be posted here in coming weeks.

The Following is a selection of my mahi HOWEVER I do need to update this as its been a while and also I'm currently trying to figure out a safer way to display photos of pieces such as Moko Kanohi,Puhoro....ect ect

Kia Manuia

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