Portrait of Tāmati Wāka Nene, (1780-1871), Māori chief, Hokianga, Northland, New Zealand. c.1860s. Tā moko is the permanent body and face marking by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Traditionally it is distinct from tattoo and tatau in that the skin was carved by uhi (chisels) rather than punctured. This left the skin with grooves, rather than a smooth surface.