Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Rihanna gets her Kiwi tattoo covered by another

Popstar Rihanna has covered up a traditional Maori-inspired tattoo she got while in New Zealand.

The 25-year-old singer was in Auckland this month for her Diamonds World Tour when she decided to get some ink done. The already tattooed entertainer impressed international audiences when she got a Maori-inspired moko done the traditional way - using a mallet and chisel. The method is used widely around the Pacific and is extremely painful; usually drawing blood.

The popstar can be seen on a YouTube video closing her eyes, cringing and shaking her head slowly as Auckland tattooist Inia Taylor taps the design into her right hand.

Kiwi singer and tattoo fanatic Tiki Taane can be seen holding the singer's hand while wiping away blood with a towel.

Rihanna's Maori tattoo was created during her tour.
Rihanna's Maori tattoo was created during her tour.

Last night, the American E! News website posted exclusive new photos a Henna-inspired design that covers most of the Kiwi design.

The site reported that Rihanna's new tattoo was "incorporated" into the Maori designs by American tattooists Bang Bang McCurdy and Cally-Jo over a session lasting 11 hours.

McCurdy told the website: "She had something pre-existing on her hand, so it was a little bit of a cover up. But also making it look good, wanted to make sure it flowed. We needed to work with what she already had."

He said it had been difficult to mix the new design.

"We were trying to fit the body with what she already had - mend the two styles with a new style."

Taylor said last night he did not want to talk about his design being covered up; saying: "We don't speak to anyone. If I was a gynaecologist and I'd just seen [former supermodel] Rachel Hunter, would I be a professional if I spoke to you?"

The tattooist has previously said how proud he was to have worked on the singer and has posted photos of the work on his Facebook page.

The week he tattooed Rihanna, he wrote: "The most important thing is that she made all the design decisions ..."

- NZ Herald

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