Internationally acclaimed Te Rangitu Netana has been a practitioner of the art of Ta Moko (Maori tattoo) for 29 years. After living in the Far North of New Zealand working amongst his own tribe for 9 years, teaching youth and raising awareness of the spiritual and educational benefits of Ta Moko, in 2015 he moved to Suffolk in the UK with his family from where he continues to develop his work globally.
The cultural importance of Maori tattoo or Ta Moko practice has long been passed from generation to generation amongst the tribes of New Zealand, and is practiced by native New Zealander Te Rangitu Netana, of North Island Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Te Arawa tribal descent.
He has been practicing Ta Moko for 28 years, and is experienced in both modern machine and traditional chisel methods of Ta Moko/Maori tattoo.
He has travelled extensively throughout his career, working with tattoo masters from different cultures, including Hawaiian and Samoan. After spending many years travelling and working at international tattoo conventions, showcasing his work, it is safe to say he is a truly gifted and experienced artist. He has also spent 9 years working with members of his own tribe, from his home near Waipapa, Far North of New Zealand,
Te Rangitu is has recently moved his family to Buckinghamshire where he will be setting up the new studio from mid-November 2019.
Also delivering his designs across the country, Te Rangitu has developed a real talent in finding out about people and their character, and reflecting this in their unique designs. Well known for his fine lines and intricate detail, Te Rangitu weaves the wearer’s story into his designs, leaving them with a piece of artwork on their skin that reflects their own beliefs and spirituality.
This practice, taking its origins from the ancient love story of Mataoroa, and Niwareka, is based on respect and dedication to both the ancestors and to the wearer of the tattoo.
Te Rangitu Netana is dedicated to the message of Ta Moko, and ensures he respects the sacred ceremony of the practice on every subject he tattoos.
For further reference, his work is featured in the book ‘Planet Ink’, released late 2012, where author and photographer Dale Rio selected 20 of the world’s best tattoo artists to interview and showcase their work. He also features in ‘Mau Moko’, by Maori academic, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, and photographer Becky Nunes, released in 2005, which showcases a number of leading Ta Moko artists and their opinions and discussions relating to their art form.
Booking your Ta Moko session is easy, with our new online booking system. Please contact us and we will send you a link for you to book online. You will be required to pay a small booking/admin fee using a secure online payment system in order to guarantee your appointment. This is non-refundable, but you can change your appointment online easily if you need to.
I usually work Monday – Friday and alternate Saturdays from my studio in Colchester.
From mid-November 2019 my studio will be based in Winslow, Buckinghamshire which is 1 hour by train from Euston Station in London and one hour by car from London Luton Airport. Many clients travel to me from other countries and I can support you in booking your journey and accommodation. I do also travel internationally for conventions, events and work so do get in touch and tell me where you are based and I will let you know if I am ever nearby.
Once you have made initial contact via email myself or one of my team will send you information about the process of Ta Moko and working with me. All customers are required to submit a questionnaire about themselves at least one week prior to the session.
Once a client makes an initial enquiry, we will send you more detailed information about the process of Ta Moko with me. Usually this begins with a consultation in person, by phone, or by WhatsApp where I will take notes. The client then needs to submit a questionnaire which I use to develop initial design sketches. From this I can then estimate a price and once agreed the client attends a session with me. Final adjustments to the design are made at the beginning of the Ta Moko session which begins only once the client is happy with the design.
When deciding on the price point for a tattoo, many factors are taken into account. My quote depends not only on the size of the area to be tattooed, but also on the level of the consultation required, the number of hours the process will take and the complexity of the design.
Clients’ average spend is £500 but if you have a budget in mind, this can also be taken into consideration.
My rates are:
£50 an hour for consultancy and design development
£120 an hour for Ta Moko/tatooing work
The use of traditional tools requires more time, an assistant and a particular commitment to the cultural context of Ta Moko. Te Rangitu is happy to discuss this with those who are interested but he finds that the tattoo machine is his preferable medium for new clients. The use of traditional tools demands more responsibility from both the client and the artist and usually requires the build-up of a trusting relationship between them.
It is important to take good care of your ta oo in the days and weeks a er receiving it. As soon as you can, taking a hot shower a er the ta oo. This will help cauterise the area. A er that, let it dry out, preferably overnight, and then apply a healing cream sparingly a er a shower while your skin is s ll warm. For the following 7 days, apply cream a er your morning shower and shower again in the evening without applying cream. Apply sparingly whenever the skin feels ght, and wipe any excess o . Make sure you wash your hands before and a er applying the cream and always make sure the cream is fully absorbed.
I recommend a cream called Bepanthen (readily available in pharmacies), however, some natural creams are acceptable too. It is best to avoid creams containing an sep c or lanolin.
Wearing natural bre/co on clothing and exposing the ta oo to fresh air aids the healing process, however, avoid exposing the ta oo to sunlight. It’s also best to avoid swimming, contact sports and scratching, as these increase the possibility of infec on. A er a week to 10 days, your ta oo should be healed.
This is not a simple question to answer, in short – yes. It is acceptable for Europeans to wear Maori designs as long as the person tattooing is of Maori descent, and therefore understands what patterns are appropriate and is able to educate and guide the wearer properly.
I only work from the protocols and traditions from my own tribal areas. Even in a traditional sense, not every Maori knows about the subject of Ta Moko, there were, and still are, many professional people within our culture who make a lifetime dedication to these types of traditions, and carry the responsibilities of their people. To us, they are our living taonga (treasures).
The benefits of educating non-Maori about Ta Moko is that it helps people from outside our culture to understand who we are as people. It is important also for us to learn about western culture and form new connections – knowledge should be shared. For far too long, some societies have perpetuated lies and have not spoken the truth of our people in the Polynesias. It’s a big culture; what we have, what we contribute to the world and what we contribute to the understanding of our existence through our beliefs is huge.
There are a lot of issues that sit within today’s society that I think the application of Ta Moko can help with. People have to learn to be proud of where they are from, and I find that through this work, I can help people find out more about themselves and their own personal origins and beliefs.
Due to previous issues with the appropriation of my designs, I no longer send designs to customers. Designs are personal to the customer and copyright is owned by me. Initially designs are drawn up and then revised/adjusted until the client is happy to go ahead at the beginning of the Ta Moko session.
Payments are made by cash or card at the studio at the end of each session.