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Maori Man Discusses “Avatar” Depiction of Facial Tattoos and Has a Surprising Amount of Love for Them

He feels they actually did it pretty respectfully.

Tattooing has been around for ages and many styles and designs have been inspired by other cultures' tattooing practices.

This Maori man shared his thoughts about the tattoos shown in the latest "Avatar: The Way of the Water" movie.

"If you've seen the Avatar film, you might have noticed some familiar looking tattoos on the Metkayina tribe," @tu_edmonds said. "Now, James Cameron has said that these were specifically inspired by Maori moko."

Turanga said that he thinks the tattoo designs had been done very well. "Even if you don't notice it, they don't look anything like real moko." He said that they did a good job of making their own unique tattoo style for those people.

He also said that he likes what the tattoos represent and symbolize to the Metkayina people. 

"So often in pop culture when we see facial moko inspired tattoos, it's always about representing being a warrior, it's always about violence," Turanga said. "It's such a misconception about facial moko."

He noticed that in "Avatar," the tattoos represent their connection to the environment and eywa. 

"I think it's a much more beautiful understanding for what it means for us," Turanga said. 

Many commenters shared their thoughts on the movie's tattoos inspired by Maori people in the comments, as well. 

"I completely agree with this! But was not sure about the pukana scene. It felt off for me personally, " one person said. 

Another person said, "They also created their own sign language so it wasn’t just a copy of what exists."

When creating tattoos inspired by others, it's important to research and understand the beliefs and values of what you are tattooing and to do it in a tasteful way that isn't disrespectful to their culture.