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Listed under:  Society  >  Culture  >  Artefacts  >  Body marking  >  Tattoos  >  Moko

'Sale of a mokomokai', 1864

This is a watercolour painting created by British soldier Horatio Gordon Robley (1840-1930) in 1864. It shows a Mäori chief in European dress with a moko (skin marking) on his face, holding what appears to be a mere (short flat club). To his left, on the ground, is a mokomokai (severed, dried, marked human head). The chief ...


Elderly Mäori man, 1870s-80s

This is black-and-white photograph of an unknown elderly Mäori man taken during the 1870s or 1880s. Shown from the waist up, he is wearing a feather cloak (kahu huruhuru) that has three distinct bands: the bottom layer is made up of white feathers, the middle band is of darker feathers and the band nearer the head consists ...


Studio portrait of an unknown Māori woman

This is a black-and-white photographic image of an unknown Māori woman. It is a portrait shot, taken in the Auckland studios of the American Photographic Company, about 1865. The woman is seated and wears a European blouse and gathered skirt. One visible earring and a ring on her right hand are also European in style. She ...


Whai (Māori string game) pattern

This is a black-and-white photographic image of a pair of hands holding string in a pattern that was known to Māori in New Zealand as the moko (skin design for female chin and lips) or frog. The photograph was taken by James McDonald in the early part of the twentieth century, at Gisborne, on the East Coast of the North ...


Traditional Mäori cooking, 1923

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the taikowhatu (oven stones) of a hangi or umu (Mäori earth oven) in an earthen pit about 1.2 metres wide and 50 centimetres deep. The taikowhatu have been spread over burning pieces of wood, large and small. In the background the legs of a man and some fencing can be seen. New ...


War dance in 1851

This is a watercolour painting created by the military artist Captain T J Grant in 1851. The image shows a Mäori woman holding a mere pounamu (greenstone hand weapon) and leading six male Mäori warriors in a war dance. The first male warrior holds a tewhatewha (a close combat weapon around 2 metres long); the second, fourth ...