Resistance, Art, Power, Beauty

maori.jpg

In writing the latest blurb for my “Diversions” section (see sidebar lower right of page) about the latest exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum, I was so moved by the memory of a film about the Maori facial tattoos known as Moko.

moko.jpg

Film

I saw ‘Moko’, a short (10-minute) film (producer Trevor Haysom; writer/director Jillian White), at Sundance in January 2001. Nga Puhi chief Kingi Taurua was one of the first to get the excruciatingly painful tattoo done on his face. Moko identify royalty, lineage, and more. During the colonization of New Zealand, Maori were encouraged to stop getting the moko and assimilate.

New Zealands Maori traditions are a powerful reminder of defiance in the face of cultural genocide. The Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibit is an opportunity to get a glance of this unique and dramatic tradiion.

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Diversions

  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

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