May 13, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Ta Moko Exhibition comes to Waikato Museum

2 min read

An exhibition that explores traditional Maori facial tattooing opens at Waikato Museum this Saturday [30 January]. Face Value is an insightful exhibition which looks at what the traditional facial moko means to six individuals who have undergone the experience. Artist Serena Giovanna Stevenson began working on the project in 2000 and has used film and documentary to record the relationship between ta moko artists (practitioners) and recipients (wearers) over an eight-year period.

With the themes of integrity, respect, patience and trust at the core of Giovanna Stevensons working style, the aim of the project was to counteract common misconceptions about ta moko and provide a greater understanding of the art form.


Waikato Museum director Kate Vusoniwailala said the museum is excited to host the exhibition and provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about Maori art and culture.

Face Value challenges people to not just take those with ta moko on face value and instead take the time to look past any common misconceptions and learn more about the wearers reasons for choosing to take on the facial moko, she said.

Running alongside the exhibition, a series of ta moko demonstrations by top ta moko artists Mark Kopua and Turumakina Duley will be held at Waikato Museum between 15-20 February. The demonstrations are free to attend however group bookings are essential.

Face Value runs at Waikato Museum until 28 March 2010.

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