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Moko and beard


This photograph of an unidentified Maori man with a moko (facial tattoo) was taken in 1880.

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.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PA2-2215.
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

How to cite this page

Moko and beard, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated