Apr 21, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

Ben Kingsley wears moko as half-Maori war hero

2 min read

TW.com Eds: your thoughts e hoa ma?

Feedback from Facebook is has been overwhelmingly positive, which is interesting, because in the past this has not been the case. Most feel that because it is Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley who is known for being highly devoted to his roles (he did play Gandhi incredibly well) that he will wear it and understand it with the dignity that it deserves.

Hemi Bennett, founder of After-Dark Media posted his view, saying “As long as the moko (sic) was designed by someone who knows the meaning of our whakairo and why it is on the face in the first place. If they are Maori and have whakapa korero ki tamoko. Then all good but no consultation and just copying the art cause they are good designers is plagirism. Whether it is an international audience or not.”

WhileTe Kai Po Ahuriricommented “we got Maori actors portraying Columbian drug loard, etc… I don’t have any issues with it, I’ve worn a full-face moko (sic) for 20 years, eing internationally seen may help others with accepting it as cultural, not trouble.”

What do you think? Ae or kao?


(Stuff.co.nz) A first photo of Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley as half-Maori war hero Mazer Rackham in upcoming sci-fi epic Ender’s Game has been released.

Kingsley sat down with a Maori expert, who explained the meaning of his moko.

“Every gesture in the tattoo carries family history, family struggles – it’s your past,” the actor toldEntertainment Weekly.

“I was so enthralled. He’s in quite a contained, stylized uniform but then this wonderful face tells his warrior history,” Kingsley said about Rackham, an almost mythical presence in Orson Scott Card’s 1980s bestseller.

“There’s quite a lot said about him in the story before you see him – by the recruits and by his fellow officers – and that’s useful as far as preparations.”

Card’s novel takes place in the future, after humanity has survived a war with an alien species.

In preparation for the next invasion, the International Fleet trains the best young children to find the future leader of the International Military.

Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy but strategically brilliant boy is their biggest hope. After showing his ability in many difficult tasks, he is trained by Mazer Rackham (Kingsley) to lead the military into a war that will determine the future of Earth and the human race.

The film also stars Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Viola Davis.

It is set to arrive in cinemas in November.

– Fairfax NZ News

3 thoughts on “Ben Kingsley wears moko as half-Maori war hero

  1. Ko te mea nui, me he mea he t? moko t?nei, e h?ngai ana ki ng? tikanga, ka mutu, e ai ki t?r? k?rero iti n? Kingsley, i reira t?tehi tangata, ko wai hoki t?r? tangata? Aua! Heoi an?, mehemea he kirituhi te t? nei, ana, he mea an? t?r?, me m?hio tonu t?tou, kei t?na p?take, he ?huatanga toi te moko, he ?kawa t?na, ?paki hoki.
    Heoi, p?nei i t?ku i k? ake r? i runga, ko te mea nui e h?ngai ana ki ? t?tou tikanga.

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