Maori Tattoo

Maori Tattoo

The ultimate statement in Personal Branding could perhaps be claimed by the New Zealand Maoris.  They have developed  the Tattoo into not only a highly skilled art form, but in many cases into a pictorial representation of the wearer’s  personal story.

Tattooing was  begun in adolesence to mark the transition from childhood to adulthood.  It then continued throughout a person’s life – especially for the men, often marking significant events.  Tattooing was done by both men and women in a painful process during which the designs were carved into the skin with a bone chisel.  Ouch!  Because this was such a painful process the tattooing was also considered to show strength, courage and status. ( Thanks to free tattoo designs for the info and pix- check them out if you want to know more)

Because the Maoris regard their Tattoos as being part of their identity  it can be taken as an insult for Non Maoris to copy their designs.  Many tribes have their own distinctive designs, all with special meanings attached to them.

Consider this – what do you identify with in your own life, that tells your personal story? Do you wear designer clothes, drink Starbucks coffee, or have bright pink hair?  What is your Personal Brand and further – how do you translate that into your business?



The Tattoo is something that has undergone such a huge  renaissance in recent times  that we now see people from all walks of life, with tattoos of all types and designs all over their bodies.

Indeed it has now developed into a highly skilled art form and an intensely personal statement about yourself. Vintage Sailor Tattoos

However, when I was a girl growing up in the 50’s and 60’s the tattoo was rather frowned upon by the middle classes  as  something that  ‘proper’ young women and men just didn’t do.

Good heavens, the only people I ever saw with  tattoos were sailors (who were bound to be disreputable) and the odd Maori or two (and well that was to be expected wasn’t it?)

When you think about it, tattooing ones body has to be the ultimate in ‘personal branding’ – quite literally.

Check out the  ‘Personal Brands’ below.

Personal' Back Brands'

Personal ' Back Brands'

Next Post: Maori Tattoos  – Personal  Brand Excellence


So what other developments have there been ?

Wax Seal

Wax Seal

You know I believe there is a point where branding passes from being merely the recording of a claim to ownership, to an important psychological attachment to the brand as an extension of ones self and what one stands for.

And this development  doesn’t seem to have a chronological development really, as clearly the work of  the Mesopotamian bottle tops (see previous post) was a very early instance of self promotion.

I think we also see this in the work of renaissance wax seals – which were often imprinted by ornately carved signet rings belonging to the nobility of  both State  and Church.  These seals  carried a weight of authority and  often the best artisans of the day were commissioned  to create them,  incorporating family crests or coats of arms.  So even at this time we can see a marriage between a highly developed creative art form and the symbolism of self promotion and the power that became associated with these symbols.

A person might have been given a parchment bearing such a seal of authority, as a surety for passage, or authentication of identity.  That makes for a pretty powerful symbol I would say.

Even today we still use seals – often legal documents will bear a stamped seal of authority.

Above is an image I found at Wax Seals.com – where they even make your own personalized seals for you if you want.


Carved Stone Stopper

You know the idea of putting a mark on something to let others know it is yours, has been with us for quite a while.  It seems that around 8000 years ago, people living in villages in  Mesopotamia began to personalise stone seals, which they put into stoppers in drinking containers.  Very creative  too. This would have been a pretty time consuming operation if you take a look at the picture.  More than a matter of just X marks the spot I do believe!

Well it seems this love affair has continued from then until now, showing up in all kinds of unexpected ways.

‘Primitive’  peoples and those who were unfamiliar with the written word, have long ‘made their mark’ upon important documents – see here a fragment of  the Treaty of Waitangi – signed between the Maoris and the Pakehas at Waitangi on 6 February 1840.  You can see the ‘Marks’ of the Maori Chieftain’s quite clearly.    To see more visit New Zealand History Online.  And what’s more – they also have clearly been creative in their flourishes.

Thank you to nzhistory.net for the image

Thanks to nzhistory.net for the image

Next time: More in the unfolding story of  “The Branding Journey”



One of us is moving house.  And a long wait til internet reconnection  :(


One of us is going overseas for a holiday.

So InnerPrints blog is now officially on holiday.  When we come back, it will be with a new look and a conversation that focuses on helping small businesses stand out in a sea of look alikes.  As Martha Graham once said:

light a fire

Credits:  1. len rogers

2.  Por Homme

In a further exploration of my previous post – here are some more things to think about……

Every woman has a handbag


The 8th Wonder Of The World!

that mysterious place that captures car keys, hijacks  lipstick and  pens – shoots them into an alternate universe and pops them back out when we are least expecting them.

I mean come on ladies – fess up – how many times have you tipped everything out of that bag hunting for your lipstick – you’re convinced by now it’s just not there- and it isn’t…. only to go back the next day and VOILA!!  There it is in the pocket where you just knew it ought to be all along.  Hmmmm  ( X Files music insert) just a little bit creepy………

However-you’ll be happy to know that you are  not alone!

The great Christopher Columbus himself  witnessed a similar thing when he arrived in the New World.  His ‘arrival there revealed how cultural belief systems determine what people see—or don’t see. Columbus found that the native people in this new land couldn’t see his clipper ships. The natives were unable to see the big ships because they didn’t believe that big ships existed!’   Quote from  The Dream Blog.

What ship are you unable to see on your own horizon?

What ship are you unable to see on your own horizon?

So things will disappear from our conscious reality when we dont believe they are there – even though they are – like the lost car keys, or the vegemite on the kitchen table, or they just won’t appear if it’s something totally outside of our experience.

My question to you today is….

What ship are you unable to see on your own horizon? – and who might be telling you it is there?


The Magic Cure

What is the opposite of ‘laughter’.  It’s not only  sadness or anger.  I think it’s also indifference, a deadening of the soul, a giving up on the meaning of life, or an inability or refusal to see the seeds of possibility around and within us.  This is the place in us where sadness is created and perpetuated. There is a cure though for this ‘condition’. It’s almost magical in its curative properties. Just press the button above.