Ta Moka, the Maori art of tattoo was traditionally a long and painful process. The head was considered the most sacred part of the human body, and great care was taken when facial Ta Moka was being created. Rituals and ceremonies surrounded the process and the "tohunga-ta-oko" (tattoo artists) were considered highly sacred as well.
Though possessing Ta Moka was a sign of status in Maori culture, the honor was hard earned. Beyond dealing with the blood and pain pain that came along with the process, those receiving Ta Moka had to go without things like sexual intimacy and solid foods. It wasn't easy to get nourishment during the time one was receiving Ta Moka, as the liquid diet he ate could easily spill into his wounds and become infected. To prevent this, a funnel was used to channel water and liquid sustenance into his mouth.
With the will and discipline needed to receive Ta Moka, it's no wonder the Maori take such pride in their tattoos!