bigwordsandsharpedges: “ The native Maori people of New Zealand have tattooed their faces for centuries. They had a complex warrior culture before the arrival of Europeans, and suffered under early colonialism, but have experienced a cultural revival.
This photograph of an unidentified Maori man with a moko (facial tattoo) was taken in Some Christian missionaries disapproved of moko, arguing that they were a heathen practice, so some Maori men let their facial hair grow to cover their tattoos.
Moko Kauae (kawai); marks the accomplishment of the individual being tattooed within his/her personal growth. It signifies growth, maturity and successfully coming out of a liminal period.The moko kauae is representative of mana & bearers of this particular type of moko are known by the community for their positive contributions to the development & well-being of the tribe. It is also a signifier of belonging & of Maori identity and pride.