Ōtautahi Mokopapa

  • Client
    Huata & Meikura Arahanga
  • Maui role
    Film and Photography
  • External Link

Ōtautahi Mokopapa was a symposium that celebrated art and culture through the mana wāhine and tāne who recieved their Moko Kauae and Mataora. Tā Moko Artists Anikaaro Harawira and Moko Tamore spent the weekend skillfully bringing to life the unique expression of cultural heritage and identity through tattoo.

Tā moko is a form of body art that depicts an individual’s whakapapa (ancestry) and personal history. In the past, it served as an important marker of social status, knowledge, expertise, and eligibility for marriage.

Traditionally, Mataora was reserved for men and tattooed on their faces, indicating their nobility. The Māori view the head as the most sacred part of the body, which is why facial tattoos hold special significance.

For women, Moko kauae is tattooed on their lips and chin. This type of tattoo represents a woman’s family and leadership role in her community, acknowledging her lineage, status, and skills. It is a treasured cultural legacy that has been handed down over generations.



Project Credits:

Kaiwhakahaere: Huata & Meikura Arahanga
Kai Tā: Moko Tāmore / Anikaaro Harawira, Rawiri Horne
Creative Director: Madison Henry
DP / Editor: Caleb Ward
1st AC: Nicholas Matthews,
2nd AC: Hera Takurua-Putiputi
Project Assists: Luke Egan, Bernadette Egan, Tuatini Arahanga



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