For my aesthetics exploration, I wanted to research and report on the Maori Aesthetic. Having visited New Zealand, this aesthetic is ever present wherever you are as the Maori are the indigenous natives to the island. Descendants of ancient Polynesian people who, through tales passed down through the generations, arrived to the island via canoes, the Maori have a rich and abundant history and culture. Their culture and aesthetic is traditionally visual through four main forms: Carving, Ta Moka (Tattoos), Weaving and Painting .
As mentioned, one of the traditional forms of the Maori Aesthetic is the Ta Moka. The history of the Ta Moka is deeply ingrained within the traditions and culture of New Zealand’s indigenous people, the Maori. Ta Moka (a.k.a Maori Tattoos) is the permanent marking of the body or face of the Maori . However, Ta Moka differs from regular tattoos in that the body is carved with the use of chisels, which leaves the skin textured with grooves .
With regards to Ta Moka, it had declined as an art during the 20th century , but has since been on the uprising, becoming popular as tattoo designs among people outside of the Maori indigenous people of New Zealand. Along with this, many Maori are again starting to practice the traditional method of Ta Moka, as it symbolizes an outward expression of commitment and respect .
Another form of the Maori Aesthetic, is the traditional Maori carving which consisted of carving into wood, bone, and stone . The shapes and patterns carved into these materials were like those resembled in the Ta Moka. Many of the carvings that the Maori did were symbolical and held various meanings and beliefs. For example, the Hei Matau, is a bone or green stone carving in the shape of a stylish fishing hook . This represents good luck and safe travels across water  to the Maori.
Today, the Maori aesthetic is generally seen through the forms of tattoos and designs that feature the patterns and forms that derive from Maori traditions and culture. For example, below are multiple images that portray art and designs that incorporate Maori “styles” into them. These have become quite popular and have been used in a wide variety of applications besides just carvings, paintings and tattoos. For example, many artists and small companies use the Maori aesthetic to create digital designs for printing on multiple mediums such as canvas, shirts, notebooks, etc…